SpaceX to launch twice-flown Dragon spacecraft to the ISS
On July 24th, SpaceX is sending up the Cargo Dragon on board a Falcon 9 rocket for the 18th resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. On board this mission are not only necessary supplies for the astronauts, but supplies for them to continue living in space.
One of the experiments launching on this mission is going to hopefully help the medicine world. With the age of technology we are at today, there has long been plans to try and figure out a way to 3D print human organs. The main issue with doing that on Earth is the simple fact of gravity. With gravity there will need to be structures built to hold up the human-like tissue as it is being built, but with microgravity in space there is no need for such things. Astronauts will be printing these from a platform called the BioFabrication Facility, or BFF for short. This will ensure the products are made with the care and delicacy needed to be as successful as possible.
Another experiment where microgravity provides great assist is one being sent up by Goodyear Tire.They want to learn how to develop silica fillers for tires on Earth. Studying the different effects that the environment of space affects the silica, and it gives scientists a chance to analyze the corelation between it and it's properties. This will help developers on Earth help better the overall design of the silica down to every last detail, including the efficiency, design and development,how the tires are made, and even down to their overall performance.
In preparation for future missions to Mars and beyond, scientists are frequently studying and trying to improve different ways to grow plants in stressful, hostile conditions. This will help future astronauts grow their own food on long journeys so help keep the weight of the spacecraft to a minimum. One way they are learning these techniques is by using moss. A custom made growing system is built on Earth and sent to the International Space Station. They will then study the growth and development of plants (in this case, Space Moss) in the conditions of space.
These are just a few of the many experiments being sent up to the International Space Station tonight in the Cargo Dragon. Make sure to watch the launch of the 18th crew resupply service mission by visiting SpaceX.com before 6:24pm EST. Weather is currently at 30% Go.