SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) next month. It will be the company’s 24th cargo mission to the orbiting laboratory under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program (CRS-24).
Dragon will deliver cargo to SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts just in time for the holidays. A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to liftoff the autonomous spacecraft to orbit on December 21st at 5:06 a.m. EST, from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. If the weather is favorable Dragon will liftoff to arrive before Christmas by Wednesday, December 22 at around 4:30 a.m. EST [date is subject to change].
“Dragon will bring food, supplies, and scientific investigations to the orbiting crew, including a protein crystal growth study that could improve the delivery of cancer treatment drugs and a handheld bioprinter that could one day be used to print tissue directly onto wounds to faster healing,” the agency shared in a press release. Like previous missions, the astronauts at ISS are also expected to receive holiday gifts from loved ones and goodies to celebrate the holidays in orbit. During uncrewed cargo missions Dragon remains only one month docked to the ISS Harmony module, then it is loaded with cargo that is not needed at the lab and the results of scientific experiments to return to Earth.
This weekend, SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts celebrated Thanksgiving aboard the Space Station. NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron celebrated the American festivity alongside European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Mattias Maurer. They sent a video Thanksgiving message to Earth and shared they invited the Russian Expedition 66 cosmonauts, who are also working at ISS, to their feast. They ate roast turkey with mashed potatoes and other goodies (video below).
How do @NASA_Astronauts spend Thanksgiving in space?— NASA (@NASA) November 24, 2021
A little friendship, a little time on the treadmill—and, of course, roast turkey. Get the full story from our @Space_Station Expedition 66 crew. pic.twitter.com/X5DNJHIPKF
Featured Image Source: NASA