On November 26, SpaceX launched the 26th NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-26) mission. A brand new Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 2:20 p.m. EST on Saturday from Launch Pad-39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The launch comes after multiple delays due to unfavorable weather conditions along Florida’s coast caused by Hurricane Nicole. The rocket’s first-stage booster landed on the 'Just Read the Instructions' droneship in the Atlantic Ocean approximately eight minutes after liftoff. It marked SpaceX’s 153rd landing of an orbital-class rocket.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/FcVOep82eo— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 26, 2022
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship pic.twitter.com/SIVrDEYT9R— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 26, 2022
After a voyage of less than 24-hours, the Dragon CRS-26 spacecraft autonomously docked to the Harmony module at 7:39 a.m. EST on Sunday, November 27, while the Space Station was orbiting over the Pacific Ocean. Crew-5 NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada monitored docking operations from onboard the ISS Lab. "We're excited to unpack and get to work," radioed Cassada to Mission Control after the successful docking. The spacecraft used on this mission is also brand new, designated Dragon C211. SpaceX typically reuses spacecraft after each mission and refurbishes the exterior. C211 is the final capsule the aerospace company plans to manufacture in order to meet NASA’s cargo delivery needs for the Space Station through 2030.
The @SpaceX #Dragon cargo craft is less than 400 meters away from the station nearing a docking on the station's Harmony module scheduled for 7:30am ET today. https://t.co/yuOTrZ4Jut pic.twitter.com/rDkjpoH4y7— International Space Station (@Space_Station) November 27, 2022
Dragon CRS-26 delivered 7,777 pounds of supplies for science experiments and other vital cargo needed at the ISS. Dragon also arrived with some delicious treats for the astronauts working at the orbiting laboratory, including spicy green beans, cranberry-apple desserts, almond pumpkin pie, ice cream and more for the crew. “Of critical importance to us is the two new solar arrays that we’ll be doing spacewalks at the end of November and early December to install and deploy on-board the International Space Station,” said NASA’s ISS program manager Joel Montalbano. “In addition to the two solar arrays that are to be delivered on SpaceX-26, we have some life support equipment being delivered, some GPS hardware, some exercise hardware, and some medical equipment. This mission will stay docked to the International Space Station about 45 days … All in all, we’re looking forward to an exciting mission.”
Some of the science experiments Dragon delivered on the CRS-26 mission are: Experiments to test the growth of dwarf tomatoes at the ISS greenhouse in a microgravity environment. –"A continuous source of nutritious food is essential for long-duration exploration missions, and the typical pre-packaged astronaut diet may need to be supplemented by fresh foods produced in space. Researchers have been testing a plant growth unit on station known as Veggie and have successfully grown a variety of leafy greens. Veg-05, the next step in that work, focuses on growing dwarf tomatoes," shared the agency in a press release.
A portable hand-held microscope that will help astronauts collect medical imagery of their own blood samples was also delivered to the station. –"Moon Microscope tests a kit for in-flight medical diagnosis that includes a portable hand-held microscope and a small self-contained blood sample staining device. An astronaut collects and stains a blood sample, obtains images with the microscope, and transmits images to the ground, where flight surgeons use them to diagnose illness and prescribe treatment," says NASA. "The kit could provide diagnostic capabilities for crew members in space or on the surface of the Moon or Mars, as well as the ability to test water, food, and surfaces for contamination. The hardware also may enable improved medical monitoring on upcoming Artemis and Gateway missions."
Featured Image Source: NASA Broadcast
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.