SpaceX launched the 27th NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-27) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 14. A flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 8:30 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the Dragon spacecraft to orbit.
The uncrewed Dragon arrived at the Space Station on March 16. It docked autonomously to the ISS Harmony module at 7:31 a.m. EDT, while ISS was traveling more than 261 miles over North Eastern China. Dragon delivered over 6,200 pounds of scientific cargo to the Space Station that Expedition 68/69 astronauts will unload. Some of the cargo on Dragon CRS-27 includes scientific experiments, equipment, and supplies needed by the crew, including some goodies for the astronauts. "The crews requested some fresh fruit and refrigerated cheeses," said Phil Dempsey, NASA's International Space Station Program transportation integration manager. "So on board are apples, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges, cherry tomatoes, as well as a few different cheeses." Dragon will remain docked to the ISS for around one month, then return autonomously with cargo that is no longer needed at the lab, as well as the results of the science research that was delivered.
Docking of the #CRS27 @SpaceX Dragon confirmed at 7:31am ET (1131 UTC). The cargo spacecraft is carrying a new delivery of @ISS_Research experiments, supplies and cargo including fresh fruits and cheeses for the @Space_Station crew. pic.twitter.com/Ka2mRsgBCJ— NASA (@NASA) March 16, 2023
Dragon delivered over 60 science projects, some of the research that was delivered to the Space Station is summarized in the list below:
- A TESMANIAN journalist had the opportunity to discuss a bioscience mission that was delivered to the ISS on the CRS-27 mission. University of Malta Professor Joseph ‘Sci’ Borg, shared his ‘Project Maleth’ team sent their third research to study the effects of spaceflight and microgravity on the human skin tissue microbiomes of diabetic foot ulcers. "The human skin microbiome is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms that live on our skin and play a critical role in maintaining our health. Research has shown that disruptions to the skin microbiome can lead to a range of skin disorders and other health problems. This type of research can help both people here on Earth, as well as humans that venture deeper into space for Moon- and Mars- based exploration or longer duration missions aboard the ISS," explained Professor Borg. Read the full TESMANIAN story to learn more: Spaceomix Maleth Program science research
#SpaceX @elonmusk— Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo (@JaneidyEve) March 11, 2023
SpaceX will launch 27th NASA cargo mission to the Space Station carrying the third @Spaceomix Maleth Program science research
Thanks Professor @joseph_borg_ for taking the time to share with me! 🚀
by @JaneidyEve via @Tesmanian_com https://t.co/G1pgHZeCt2
- Another research launched on SpaceX’s CRS-27 mission is called ‘Cardinal Heart 2.0’, it is the second NASA investigation that will study how long duration spaceflight affects the human heart. “The first Cardinal Heart investigation conducted aboard the space station showed that four weeks of microgravity exposure can cause significant changes in heart cell function and gene expression. Researchers concluded that these changes could lead to long-term medical issues,” says NASA. “The Cardinal Heart 2.0 experiment builds on these results, using heart organoids, 3D structures made up of all the different types of cells in a particular organ, to test whether clinically approved drugs reduce these microgravity-induced changes in heart cell function. Results could support the development of effective drug combinations to improve the health of astronauts and patients on Earth.”
- The ‘Engineered Heart Tissues-2’ project was also delivered aboard Dragon CRS-27. The investigation uses 3D cultured cardiac muscle tissue to assess human cardiac function in microgravity. “Previous work with 3D cultures in space detected changes at the cellular and tissue level that could provide early indication of the development of cardiac disease. This investigation tests whether new therapies prevent these adverse spaceflight effects from occurring. The model used in this study has potential use in drug development and other applications related to diagnosing and treating cardiac dysfunction on Earth,” shared NASA.
- Dragon also delivered a project that High School students sent to space. “Hardware (HUNCH) program enables students to fabricate real-world products for NASA as they apply their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills,” said NASA. The students developed a unique camera stand called “HUNCH Ball Clamp Monopod” which was created to solve astronaut issues when trying to position a camera in microgravity to take a still image or video. “The student-manufactured project is composed of an aluminum monopod fitted with a camera shoe and ball clamp that can be attached to a standard space station handrail. The ball clamp serves as a pivoting platform for photography and video,” shared NASA representatives.
- The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency also sent up a science investigation called ‘Tanpopo-5’, which will study bacteria in outer space environment to analyze the survival of life in space which could someday be helpful knowledge to understand if there is life on other planets. “The study focuses on exposing a radioresistant bacteria, which are resistant to radiation, and sporophytes of moss, an important piece of the lifecycle of some plants, to the harsh environment of space using the exposed Experiment Bracket Attached on I-SEEP (ExBAS) facility mounted on the outside of station. Results are helping answer key questions of the ‘panspermia’ hypothesis, a theory for the initiation of life on Earth and the transport of life among celestial bodies,” said the agency.
These are just a few of the hundreds of science investigations that Expedition 68/69 astronauts are conducting at the orbiting laboratory.
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Featured Image Source: NASA Live 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.