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NASA to send cargo to space station

NASA to send cargo to space station
A private capsule is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station on its first contracted cargo mission on 7 October, NASA said.

SpaceX’s robotic Dragon spacecraft is set to blast off atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 7 October.

The mission will kick off Dragon’s first-ever bona fide supply run to the station. California-based SpaceX holds a USD 1.6 billion NASA contract to make 12 such unmanned flights, ‘SPACE.com’ reported.

When it leaves the pad on 7 October, Dragon will be carrying about 454 kilograms of supplies, officials said. Much of the gear will support the 166 different scientific investigations-including experiments in plant cell biology, human biotechnology and materials demonstrations-planned during the station’s current Expedition 33.

If all goes according to plan, Dragon will rendezvous with the station on 10 October, at which point Expedition 33 commander Sunita Williams of NASA and Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide will grapple it with the orbiting lab’s robotic arm.

Dragon will stay attached to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony module for several weeks while the Expedition 33 crew unloads the capsule and then loads it back up again with cargo to return to Earth.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in late October. It will splash down in the Pacific Ocean, carrying 333 kg of scientific materials and 229 kg of space station hardware, officials said. The 7 October flight won’t mark Dragon’s maiden mission to the USD 100 billion orbiting complex.

In May, Dragon became the first private vehicle ever to visit the station during a historic demonstration mission that sought to gauge SpaceX’s readiness to begin its contracted flights.    


ASTRONAUTS MAY SOON 'OWN' SPACE MEMENTOS

The US House of Representatives has adopted a bill to grant astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions ownership to space memorabilia they collected during their careers. The bill passed by a voice vote on Wednesday would settle ownership questions that NASA began to raise after several aging astronauts, including Apollo 13 commander James Lovell - a Cleveland native - tried to auction some of their space souvenirs, 'Cleveland Plain Dealer' reported. If passed by the Senate, the bill would let the roughly 70 astronauts of that era keep personal logs, checklists, flight manuals and disposable flight hardware they salvaged from jettisoned lunar modules - and sell them if they wish. It wouldn't apply to moon rocks and other lunar material. Advocates of the bill, including Lovell, say it's needed to protect the astronauts from legal claims over artifacts still in their possession as well as items they've donated to colleges and museums, transferred to family members, or privately sold.
Agencies

Agencies

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