Dragon Docks to a station carrying science and supplies – the Space Station

Dragon Docks to a station carrying science and supplies – the Space Station

The station can be viewed from the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft.  The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew spacecraft is pictured at top center.  Credit: NASA TV
The station can be seen from the approaching SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew spacecraft is pictured docked at top center. Credit: NASA TV

As the International Space Station traveled more than 262 miles over central Brazil, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft autonomously docked with the station’s Harmony module at 5:07 a.m. EDT, with NASA astronauts Yasmine Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara monitoring operations from the station.

Dragon was launched on SpaceX’s 29th contracted commercial resupply mission for NASA at 8:28 p.m. EDT, November 9, from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After Dragon spends about one month on the space station, the spacecraft will return to Earth carrying cargo and research.

Among the scientific experiments that Dragon provides to the space station are the following:

Laser communications from space

NASA Illuma-T Probe test technology to provide enhanced data communications capabilities on the space station. A terminal mounted on the outside of the station uses laser or optical communications to send high-resolution information to the agency’s Laser Communications Relay Display (LCRD) system, which is located in geosynchronous orbit around Earth. The system uses invisible infrared light and can transmit and receive information at higher data rates than traditional radio frequency systems. The ILLUMA-T demonstration also paves the way for placing laser communications stations on spacecraft orbiting the Moon or Mars.

Watch the waves in the atmosphere

NASA awesome (Atmospheric waves experiment) An infrared imaging instrument is used to measure the properties, distribution, and movement of atmospheric gravity waves. These waves roll through the Earth’s atmosphere when the air is turbulent, just like the waves created by dropping a stone in water. Researchers are investigating how AGWs contribute to space weather, which refers to various conditions within the solar system, including the solar wind. Space weather affects space-based and ground-based communications, navigation, and tracking systems. The space station provides an ideal platform for investigation due to its altitude and geographic and temporal coverage.

Respiratory health research

Lung gauchoThis project, sponsored by the International Space Station National Laboratory, studies how the mucus lining the respiratory tract affects the delivery of drugs transported by a small amount of injected liquid, known as a liquid plug. Conducting this research in microgravity makes it possible to isolate the factors involved, including capillary or suction forces, mucus properties, and gravity. Understanding the role of these factors can inform the development and optimization of targeted respiratory therapies.

Water purification technology

Hydrophilic membrane-3An investigation by the European Space Agency (ESA) continues to evaluate replacing the multiple filtration layers used to recover water on the space station with a type of membrane known as an Aquaporin Interior Membrane (AIM). These membranes incorporate proteins found in biological cells, known as aquaporins, to filter water faster while using less energy. The results could lead to the development of a complete, comprehensive membrane-based water recovery system, improving the water recovery process and reducing the amount of material that must be released to the space station. This water purification technology could also have applications in extreme environments on Earth, such as emergency situations, and decentralized water systems in remote locations.

These are just a few of the hundreds of research currently being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory in the fields of biology, biotechnology, physical sciences, and earth and space sciences. Advances in these areas will help keep astronauts healthy during extended space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low Earth orbit to the Moon through NASA’s Artemis missions and eventually to Mars.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space station And @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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