It marks the completion of SpaceX’s 21st cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The company launched Dragon with 6,400 pounds of supplies on a Falcon 9 rocket on December 6.
The research materials on board will be quickly transported to the Kennedy Space Center’s Space Station processing facility within four to nine hours. Cargoes had to be moved from previous spraying operations in the Pacific Ocean to SpaceX and NASA facilities in Texas.
A little bit of the Flag on board He will contribute to the research “How changes in gravity affect cardiovascular cells at the cellular and tissue level using 3D heart tissue,” according to a NASA press release.
Further research from the flight outcome will examine “the advantages of using microgravity for cutting-edge advances in regenerative medicine” and “techniques specific to using a sextant for emergency navigation on spacecraft such as NASA’s Orion.”
The mission’s upgraded Dragon Cargo capsule allowed it to carry 20% more payload than the ship’s previous version plus an increased amount of science and research to bring it home.
This Dragon spacecraft docked independently and detached from docking at the International Space Station for the first time ever, as astronauts used the robotic Canadarm2 to link previous cargo ships.