NASA-SpaceX resupply mission sends detergent, skin bioprinter to space

Washington: The NASA-SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft on Tuesday successfully lifted off to space carrying more than 6,500 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and other cargo, including detergent, skin bioprinter.

The spcecraft launched at 5:07 a.m. EST (3:37 pm IST) on Tuesday is on its way to space on a Falcon 9 rocket, blasted from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The spacecraft is SpaceX’s 24th commercial resupply services mission for NASA.

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The Dragon is scheduled to arrive at the station just under 24 hours after liftoff, docking with the orbital outpost on Wednesday morning.

NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Tom Marshburn will monitor the Dragon as it docks itself to the space station.

Among the experiments Dragon is delivering to the space station are:

The resupply mission carries a portable, handheld bioprinter that uses a patient’s own skin cells to create a tissue-forming patch to cover a wound and accelerate the healing process; a monoclonal antibody, pembrolizumab, which Merck Research Labs developed; roots, shoots and leaves.

Also onboard is lunar laundromats developed by Proctor and Gamble — Tide Infinity — a fully degradable detergent specifically designed for use in space; microstructures and improved mechanical properties in superalloy parts processed in microgravity.

“These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations currently being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory in the areas of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, and Earth and space science,” NASA said.

“Advances in these areas will help keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars through NASA’s Artemis programme,” the agency added.

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