SpaceX's recycled rocket and spaceship deliver cargo to ISS

SpaceX Satellite Orbiting Earth

On Monday, April 2 at 4:30 p.m. EDT, SpaceX had a successful liftoff of its fourteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-14) to the International Space Station.

Looking forward to the remainder of April, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled to take flight on April 12 with an Air Force payload known as AFSPC-11; a Falcon 9 rocket will take NASA's planet-hunting TESS spacecraft to orbit on April 16; and another Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch Bangladesh's first geostationary satellite sometime in late April.

The California-based company is striving to lower the costs of space missions by reusing its rockets and other components after each launch, instead of setting them to plunge into the ocean upon reentering in the Earth's atmosphere.

SpaceX launched its 14 resupply mission to the International Space Station Monday, sending a reused cargo ship packed with supplies and equipment to the orbiting lab.

Shortly after the Falcon 9 launches, the Dragon capsule will detach itself and head toward the ISS, where it will be captured by the station's robotic arm and spend a month in space.

The cargo ship is due to dock at the space station on Wednesday morning and will remain in orbit for almost a month before returning to earth.

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The RemoveDEBRIS satellite will be deployed from the International Space Station and attempt to capture simulated space debris using a net and a harpoon, while also testing advanced cameras and radar systems. Included among the science-related cargo is an experiment created to study severe thunderstorms on Earth.

NASA mimicked atmospheric conditions to grow these tomatoes under LEDs rather than natural sunlight. This is NASA's 21st mission utilizing private companies.

Edible plants growing aboard the ISS will also receive an upgrade with the new Veggie PONDS experiment, which "uses a newly developed passive nutrient delivery system ... to cultivate lettuce and mizuna greens, which are to be harvested on-orbit, and consumed, with samples returned to Earth for analysis", according to the Veggie PONDS experiment description.

Scientists hope RemoveDEBRIS will help.

T he MARROW study will also look at the effect of microgravity on bone marrow, blood cells produced in marrow, recovery after space missions, and the application of this research to astronauts in future missions as well as healthcare providers on Earth.

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