(AGENPARL) – sab 26 novembre 2022 November 26, 2022
Moon Microscope, Solar Arrays Launch on NASA’s SpaceX Cargo Ship
[A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a Cargo Dragon spacecraft carrying more than 7,700 pounds of research, hardware, and supplies on November 26, 2022.](https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/crs_26_launch_screenshot.png)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a Cargo Dragon spacecraft carrying more than 7,700 pounds of research, hardware, and supplies as part of the company’s 36th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station on November 26, 2022. Credits: NASA TV
SpaceX’s 26th commercial resupply mission for NASA is on its way to the International Space Station.
Carrying more than 7,700 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and other cargo, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched on the Falcon 9 rocket at 2:20 p.m. EST Saturday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The cargo spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously dock at the space station around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, and remain at the station for about 45 days. Coverage of arrival will begin at 6 a.m. on NASA Television, the agency’s [website](https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive), and the [NASA app](https://www.nasa.gov/nasaapp).
Among the science experiments Dragon is delivering to the space station are:
Picture of Health
[Moon Microscope](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8821) 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.
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 missions.
Adding Solar Power
Two International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Arrays, or iROSAs, launched aboard SpaceX’s 22nd commercial resupply mission for the agency and were installed in 2021. These solar panels, which roll out using stored kinetic energy, [expand](https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sciencecasts/the-power-of-the-stations-new-solar-arrays) the energy-production capabilities of the space station. The second set launching in the Dragon’s trunk, once installed, will be a part of the plan to provide a 20% to 30% increase in power for space station research and operations.
These arrays, the second of three packages, will complete the upgrade of half the station’s power channels. iROSA technology was first [tested](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/changing-how-solar-power-rolls) on the space station in 2017. Roll-out solar array technology was used on NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission and is planned for use on [Gateway](https://www.nasa.gov/gateway), a future lunar space station and vital component of NASA’s Artemis program. The iROSA upgrades use the space station as a proving ground for the technology and research needed to explore farther into space.
Big Hopes for Small Tomatoes
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](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=374) and have successfully grown a variety of leafy greens. [Veg-05](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7443), the next step in that work, focuses on growing dwarf tomatoes.
Building Bigger Structures
On Earth, gravity deforms large objects such as the beams used in large-scale construction. Microgravity enables fabrication of longer and thinner structures without this deformation. [Extrusion](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8910) demonstrates a technology using liquid resin to create shapes and forms that cannot be created on Earth. Photocurable resin, which uses light to harden the material into its final form, is injected into pre-made flexible forms and a camera captures footage of the process. The capability for using these forms could enable in-space construction of structures such as space stations, solar arrays, and equipment.
Supplying adequate nutrition is a major challenge to maintaining crew health on future long-duration space missions. Many vitamins, nutrients, and pharmaceuticals have limited shelf-life, and the ability to make such compounds on-demand could help maintain crew health and well-being. [BioNutrients-2](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8521) tests a system for producing key nutrients from yogurt, a fermented milk product known as kefir, and a yeast-based beverage.
The investigation kicks off phase two of the five-year [BioNutrients](https://www.nasa.gov/ames/bionutrients/) program, headed by NASA’s Ames Research Center and managed by Game Changing Development in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. The program began with the launch of [BioNutrients-1](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7400) in 2019. BioNutrients-2 employs a smaller system with a heated incubator that promotes growth of beneficial organisms.
The researchers also are working to find efficient ways to use local resources to make bulk products such as plastics, construction binders, and feedstock chemicals. Such technologies are designed to reduce launch costs and increase self-sufficiency, extending the horizons of human exploration.
Easing Gravity Transitions
Travelers to space all face the transition from one gravity field to another. On future exploration missions, astronauts may encounter three different gravity fields: weightlessness while traveling in space, the gravity of another planet, and Earth’s gravity when they return. These transitions can affect spatial orientation, head-eye and hand-eye coordination, balance, and locomotion, and cause some crew members to experience space motion sickness.
The Falcon Goggles hardware captures high-speed video of a subject’s eyes, providing precise data on ocular alignment and balance.
These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations currently conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory in the areas of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, and Earth and space science. Advances in these areas will help keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit to the [Moon and Mars](https://www.nasa.gov/in-lunar-orbit).
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Johnson Space Center, Houston
(AGENPARL) – sab 26 novembre 2022 November 26, 2022