SpaceX successfully launched a science-laden Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station on Saturday (26) on the company’s 26th commercial resupply mission to the ISS.
The launch, which was SpaceX’s 54th overall launch and fifth for a Dragon spacecraft in 2022, was originally scheduled for November 22, but was delayed due to bad weather.
“Nice launch. As always, great to see this,” NASA spokeswoman Sandra Jones said during the mission’s live stream.
The SpaceX spacecraft took seeds for an experiment on the ISS
In total, the Dragon carried 3,500 kilos. Some of the onboard payloads include solar panels, as well as a microscope to observe changes in the International Space Station crew’s immune system and equipment to capture images of astronauts’ eyes.
Dwarf tomato seeds were also sent as another step in the series of Veggie experiments. The program explored growing food and even flowers in space.
With NASA having just launched its Artemis 1 unmanned lunar mission, preparing for long-duration excursions under the Artemis program will require rethinking how astronauts are fed and kept healthy for weeks or years, months, not only on the ISS, but also on the moon.
Scientists are already analyzing the results of the recent harvest of ripe peppers. To date, this is the longest plant cultivation experiment ever conducted on the International Space Station. It took 135 days of work, which generated a huge amount of data and helped scientists find new fertilization techniques outside of Earth.
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