WASHINGTON – NASA plans to launch a cargo version of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) next week while continuing to investigate an explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft.
During a Previously Scheduled Media Conference On April 22, NASA spokesman Josh Finch reported on the upcoming cargo mission to the station, designated as CRS-17, that the mission will launch for launch on April 30 at 4:22 am Eastern it's planned. Three days earlier, NASA relocated the launch of April 26, citing "restrictions on orbit and orbital mechanics."
NASA did not provide any information during the April 20 Crew Dragon anomaly review of the SuperDraco engines testing system for the demolition of this spacecraft. Finch referred reporters to the statement NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine had posted on social media shortly after the accident. SpaceX has also provided no information on the status of the investigation.
The SpaceX Landing Zone incident created a large, widely visible cloud that was reported to have done great damage to the Crew Dragon spacecraft, the same one it had flown. The demo 1
The fact that NASA is continuing with the Cargo Dragon mission for the time being suggests that the problem is limited to the SuperDraco engines that are not used in the Cargo version of Dragon. However, according to industry sources, the CRS-17 mission may still be delayed, depending on what the ongoing investigation could announce in the coming days, as well as the concerns of its international partners.
SpaceX, however, filed a license application with the Federal Communications Commission on April 22 for a first stage Falcon 9 landing on a ship off the coast for an upcoming launch. The first nine Dragon Charge Kite Charges usually land in Landing Zone 1, suggesting that ongoing investigation or cleanup following the Crew Dragon incident will result in the zone not being available for the upcoming launch.
The cargo of the kite will cover nearly 1,700 kilograms of science Payloads These include a number of biomedical and pharmaceutical experiments, such as several "tissue-chip" experiments that could allow accelerated testing of disease treatments in weightlessness. Another experiment, referred to as a photobioreactor, will test the ability to grow algae in space that could be used in future long-term food missions.
The dragon also performs the OCO (Orbiting Carbon Observatory) (OCO) 3 experiment with mounted on the outside of the station. The US $ 110 million payload that NASA intended to repeal in its budget applications for the financial year 2018 and 2019 will measure carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and provide continuity should the existing OCO-2 spacecraft cease operations.
ISS will be different from OCO-2, which is in solar synchronous orbit. "The opportunity to go to the International Space Station is really exciting and adds some new features," said Annmarie Eldering, project scientist at the OCO-3 project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, during the meeting, including the opportunity to see the same area Different time of day to measure daily variations in carbon dioxide content.
The Dragon CRS-17 mission follows Northrop Grumman's NG-11 Cygnus mission, which landed an Antares rocket from Virginia two days after launching on April 19 at the station. This spacecraft brought more than 3,400 kilograms of cargo to the station, including 1,569 kilograms of scientific research.