On Thursday, July 14, SpaceX launched the 25th NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-25) mission to the International Space Station (ISS). A previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex-39A at 8:44 p.m. EDT, propelling the Dragon spacecraft to orbit. It is expected to dock to the ISS Harmony module by Saturday, July 16, at 11:20 a.m. after a two-day journey. NASA TV will livestream the mission at 10:00 a.m. EDT (video linked below).
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/TzC7Z4WVMC— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 15, 2022
The Falcon 9 first-stage booster that supported this mission is identified as B1067-5, it previously launched Dragon CRS-22 in June 2021, SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts in November 2021, the Türksat 5B satellite in December 2021, and Crew-4 astronauts in April. The booster returned from space and landed on the autonomous spaceport drone ship 'A Shortfall Of Gravitas' –marking SpaceX's 130th landing of an orbital-class rocket.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship pic.twitter.com/IydQLiC5kH— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 15, 2022
“It’s going to be a very busy next few weeks onboard the International Space Station with all the experiments and cargo that Dragon is bringing up,” said Dina Contella, operations integration manager for NASA’s International Space Station Program. “I just really want to congratulate again the SpaceX and NASA teams on another great launch, and I’m looking forward to the Dragon docking on Saturday.”
Dragon CRS-25 will deliver over 5,800 pounds of cargo to ISS, including over 250 science research investigations, supplies, and hardware needed at the orbiting laboratory. Some interesting science research that will be delivered by the CRS-25 mission include: The Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) that will use imaging spectroscopy technology to measure the mineral composition of dust in Earth’s arid regions to better understand what effects it has on the planet. Another investigation aboard CRS-25 Dragon is SpaceOMIX's second bioscience mission called MALETH II. The mission will investigate human skin tissue samples from patients with diabetic foot ulcers and their associated bacteria that occupy these infected wounds to be studied in microgravity at the ISS Lab. Expedition 67 astronauts will unpack all the cargo from Dragon when it arrives and monitor all the vital science research.
The astronauts working at ISS will also receive a special delivery of food they enjoy. "We're sending up apples, oranges, cherry tomatoes, some onion, baby carrots, garlic, tahini, cheese and dry sausage. So, a really nice mix of fresh fruit for the crew," shared ISS deputy program manager Dana Weigel during a press conference.
“We’re excited to continue to help transport this kind of cargo for NASA and also to carry the crew members who are the key component for doing research and managing things on station,” said Benjamin Reed, senior director of Human Spaceflight Programs at SpaceX. “All of this, of course, is not possible without our partnerships with NASA, with the Space Force, and all of our customers. We can’t thank you enough for the opportunity to be a part of this and be a part of this great science community.”
Dragon CRS-25 will stay docked to the Space Station for around one month before autonomously undocking and returning to Earth the results of the science research and other cargo. When it returns it is expected to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean near NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX