SpaceX successfully launches squid and tardigrades to ISS for NASA

Nifty roll-out solar panels are also on the way on the CRS-22 cargo mission to the International Space Station.

Baby squid are going doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo to the ISS.

SpaceX has a special delivery on its way to the International Space Station. A Falcon 9 rocket and cargo Dragon spacecraft had a picture-perfect launch Thursday for the company’s 22nd commercial resupply mission for NASA.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 landed on a SpaceX droneship in the Atlantic Ocean and will be reused for future missions. The Dragon capsule is now in orbit and is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on Saturday around 2 p.m. PT.

There are no humans in the dragon capsule, but there are glow-in-the-dark baby squid and tiny tardigrades, which can survive in extreme conditions. Scientists will study tardigrades, also known as water bears, to see how they survive and reproduce on the ISS.

Young bobtail squids are part of a study on the symbiotic relationship between animals and microbes. Scientists are curious how spaceflight will affect the relationship.

NASA TV and SpaceX did live coverage of the launch with liftoff on Thursday at 10:29 a.m. PT. SpaceX tweeted videos of dramatic liftoff And this first stage booster landing.

The critters on Dragon are just a small part of the 7,300 pounds (3,300 kg) of supplies, research gear and hardware headed to the ISS.

Another notable item on board is the ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (aka IROSA), an innovative solar panel designed by Radwire that rolls like a red carpet. NASA first tested the idea in 2017 And it is now ready to be part of the ISS power system. SpaceX will deliver the first pair of arrays, with more planned to follow.

SpaceX is on an extended run to haul both cargo and ISS. man for As a commercial partner of NASA. There’s a lot of new SpaceX equipment in flight, including a fresh Falcon 9 rocket booster and a new cargo spacecraft.

Cargo Dragon will remain in residence at the ISS for about a month before returning to Earth with loads of science experiments and hardware.

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