The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft blasted off for its CRS-27 mission for NASA

The Dragon 2 spacecraft blasts off atop a Falcon 9 rocket to start its CRS-27 mission (Photo courtesy SpaceX)
The Dragon 2 spacecraft blasts off atop a Falcon 9 rocket to start its CRS-27 mission (Photo courtesy SpaceX)

A few hours ago, the SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in its CRS-27 (Cargo Resupply Service 27) mission, also referred to as SPX-27. After almost exactly 12 minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and went en route. This is the 27th mission for the Dragon/Dragon 2 spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station with various cargoes and then return to Earth, again with various cargoes.

The Dragon 2 spacecraft’s cargo is more than 2,800 kg (almost 6,300 lbs) between the pressurized and the non-pressurized section. There are about 910 kg (about 2,000 lbs) of food and other supplies for the International Space Station crew but most of the cargo consists of instruments, hardware, and various other materials needed for science experiments and research conducted aboard the Station.

The Cardinal Heart 2.0 and Engineered Heart Tissues-2 experiments are continuations of two cardiology experiments connected to the effects of microgravity on heart tissues. The aim is to eliminate adverse effects.

The CapiSorb Visible System (CVS) experiment demonstrates how capillarity can be used instead of gravity to control liquids that can absorb carbon dioxide. Liquids of that type work fine on Earth but in microgravity, it’s still a problem. Being able to use them would help improve the life support systems used for space missions.

The Japanese space agency JAXA’s Tanpopo-5 experiment studies the response of radiation-resistant microbes, moss spores, and biochemical compounds such as amino acids to space exposure. This is the fifth in a series of experiments that aim to understand which extraterrestrial samples it’s possible to bring to Earth and which Earth organisms can survive in space. Part of the research also concerns the possible building blocks of life that came from space to Earth.

This Dragon 2 cargo spacecraft is the same one used in the CRS-22 and CRS-24 missions. Its arrival at the Station is scheduled for Thursday: around 11.52 UTC, it’s scheduled to dock with the Station with an automated maneuver.

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