SpaceX has sent an advanced Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station on behalf of NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket left the Kennedy Space Center yesterday at 11 a.m to connote the company’s 21st payload mission for NASA. Moreover, the mission is the 100th for the Falcon 9 rocket series by SpaceX. The spacecraft’s booster came back to Earth about nine minutes after the payload arrived at the space station docking on SpaceX’s drone ships roaming the Atlantic Ocean. The drone ships are the company’s first products for receiving dropping boosters or those that reenter Earth.
The company reported that the weather proved to be a delaying factor that postponed the deployment date to this Sunday instead of December 5th. The rocket successfully left Earth and delivered the payload to the required orbit. The first stage booster, B1058, became the first for NASA to deploy and recover four times in different missions. The booster has deployed the Demo-2 crewed mission, a communication payload for the South Korea military, and a group of the company’s Starlink satellites.
SpaceX recorded the 69th retrieval of a Falcon stage booster in the last five years of initiating this procedure. The deployed cargo was hosting over 6000 kilograms of supplies and scientific experiments. Additionally, the mission was carrying Christmas supplies for the crew on the International Space Station. NASA’s deputy program manager for the International Space Station, Kenny Todd, told the news media that they sent the crew some Christmas food. He added that it would be a surprise that he didn’t want to reveal to the crew as it would spoil the fun in it.
Kenny Todd revealed that there are other surprise packages within the Christmas cargo apart from food to keep the astronauts and scientists in a celebration mood. NASA is hopeful that its scientists and astronaut, Kate Rubins, can conduct more research investigations like the one she performed in her previous mission to the International Space Station. The executive added that the package is addressed to her as a reply to her love for this field.
Todd explained that this would be the first time that they deploy numerous Dragons to the space station. Additionally, the advanced version will host a 20% more payload than the previous spacecraft. The Dragon’s capacity will allow scientists to load more scientific cargo onto it and take it to space for experimentation. Finally, the spacecraft can host running payloads in orbit without any interference. Moreover, the boosters will be able to drop in the Atlantic Ocean on the return mission.