3 Tons of New Research Heading to Space Station on Recycled SpaceX Dragon and Falcon Booster


Blastoff of SpaceX
Flight-proven’ Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon CRS-14 cargo ship from Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on April 2 at 4:33 pm EDT
to the ISS, as seen from the VAB roof. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer     Space UpClose     2
April 2018

KENNEDY
SPACE CENTER, FL –  3 tons of new
research and supplies are heading to the International Space Station following the
successful and stunningly beautiful Easter Monday (Apr. 2) blastoff of the fourteenth
SpaceX
commercial resupply mission for NASA from the Kennedy Space Center
(KSC) in Florida.  

The
mission utilized both a flight proven Falcon 9 booster and Dragon cargo vessel approved
by NASA managers for only the second time.


The
Dragon CRS-14 cargo freighter is jam packed
with over 5800 pounds of science and supplies
for the six person multinational crew serving aboard that will support more
than 50 research investigations following a two day journey to the orbiting outpost.


Blastoff of the ‘used’ SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon CRS-14
commercial cargo freighter took place on time at
4:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 2 from seaside Space
Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, during an
instantaneous launch window.



The Falcon 9
delivered Dragon to its intended preliminary orbit.


Closeup view of 9 Merlin 1D engines firing at base of SpaceX
Falcon 9 first stage launching 3 ton Dragon CRS-14 cargo delivery mission to
the ISS for NASA.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com




The launch
window was instantaneous, meaning that any delay would have forced a 24 hour
scrub to Tuesday, April 3.

CRS-14 will
deliver over 5800 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle
hardware to the million pound orbiting laboratory for the Expedition 55/56
crews during its month long stay.  






The Dragon was previously used during the CRS-8
mission and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and the Falcon 9 first was
recycled from the CRS-12 mission and touched down softly and safely at LZ-1 at
the Cape.



Blastoff of SpaceX
Flight-proven’ Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon CRS-14 cargo ship from Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on April 2 at 4:33 pm EDT
to the ISS, view from remote camera at pad. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com








Although the Falcon 9 first stage was equipped
with grid fins and landing legs, SpaceX did not attempt to recover this Block 4
version of the booster either on land or at sea. The droneship was not
dispatched.





Instead SpaceX ran an experiment to adjust
the thrust and reentry and landing parameters to expand the envelope of return
operations.














Following four successful SpaceX Dragon liftoffs in 2017,
the CRS-14 mission counts as the first of several planned for 2018.

About 10 minutes
after launch, Dragon reached its preliminary orbit, at which point it deployed its solar arrays and began a carefully choreographed series of
thruster firings to reach the International
Space Station
.
The
total cargo on board amounts to 5836 pounds/2647 kilograms. Of that 3794
pounds/1721 kg is pressurized cargo and 2041 pounds/926 kg is unpressurized and
loaded in the Dragon truck. 
The CRS-14 pressurized cargo manifest includes 758
pounds/344 kg of crew supplies, 2359 pounds/1070 kg of science investigations,
218 pounds/99 kg of spacewalk equipment, 326 pounds/148 kg of vehicle hardware,
108 pounds /49 kg of computer resources, 24 pounds/11 kg of Russian hardware.
Three payloads are mounted inside the Dragon trunk.
Grapple and berthing to the space station is targeted for
April 4. Expedition 55 Flight Engineers Norishege Kanai of the Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency, backed up by NASA astronaut Scott Tingle,
will supervise the operation of the Canadarm2 robotic arm for Dragon’s capture.
After Dragon capture, ground commands will be sent from mission control in
Houston for the station’s arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the
station’s Harmony module.

Here’s a NASA description of the science on Board:

Among the research arriving on Dragon is a new
facility to test materials, coatings and components, or other large
experiments, in the harsh environment of space. Designed by Alpha Space and
sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF)
provides a platform for testing how materials react to exposure to ultraviolet
radiation, atomic oxygen, ionizing radiation, ultrahigh vacuum, charged
particles, thermal cycles, electromagnetic radiation, and micro-meteoroids in
the low-Earth orbit environment.



The Canadian Space Agency’s study Bone Marrow
Adipose Reaction: Red or White (MARROW) will look at the effects of
microgravity on bone marrow and the blood cells it produces – an effect likened
to that of long-term bed rest on Earth. The extent of this effect, and bone
marrow’s ability to recover when back on Earth, are of interest to space
researchers and healthcare providers alike.



Understanding how plants respond to microgravity
also is important for future long-duration space missions and the crews that
will need to grow their own food. The Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System
(PONDS) arriving on Dragon uses a
newly-developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility currently aboard
the space station to cultivate leafy greens. These greens will be harvested and
eaten by the crew, with samples also being returned to Earth for analysis.


Dragon also is carrying an Earth observatory that will study severe
thunderstorms and their role in the Earth’s atmosphere and climate, as well as
upgrade equipment for the station’s carbon dioxide removal system, external
high-definition camera components, and a new printer for the station’s crew.

‘Flight-proven’
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon CRS-14 cargo ship poised for liftoff from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, FL, on April 2 at 4:33 pm EDT to the ISS.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX
CRS-14, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more
space and mission
reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
Station, Florida.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing
Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
twitter @ken_kremer –
ken
at kenkremer.com




Up close
view of recycled SpaceX Dragon CRS-14 vessel loaded with 5800 pounds of science
and supplies bound for the International Space Station
from Space Launch
Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on April 2, 2018
.   Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com






Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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