Updated: Dec 27, 2020
Squeezing in a few more milestone missions before year's end, SpaceX is set to launch their first Cargo Dragon v2 to the International Space Station this weekend under the company's Second Re-supply contract with NASA.
Additionally, this will mark the first time two Dragon spacecraft will be docked to the ISS at the same time. The CRS-21 spacecraft joining it's Crew Dragon twin, Resilience, just under three weeks after flying the Crew-1 Astronauts to Orbit.
The re-supply payload onboard this flight includes BISHOP, a small commercial airlock module that will offer 5 times more satellite deployment volume. The payload also includes HEMOCUE, which will test white blood cell counting systems in 0-G. Cardinal Heart, a continuation of a previous experiment, will study changes in cardiovascular cells and tissues in 0-G. The brain Organoid experiment will study the early developed human brain and its movements in microgravity. Subsa-Brains, an experiment finding better ways to braze two alloys to each other. And lastly but certainly not least, BioAsteroid, an experiment designed to test the tools and infrastructure needed for asteroid , lunar and Martian rock mining.
This will be the first launch under the CRS-2 contract and the first launch of Cargo Dragon v2, which is an un-crewed, modified version of the companies Crew Dragon vehicle. Cargo Dragon is now designed to be reused up to five times, fly larger mass payloads, and dock autonomously with the ISS, all significant improvements over its predecessor, the Dragon v1, which retired on the CRS-20 mission earlier this year. CRS-21 Dragon will be docked at the ISS for 30 days before making a splashdown here on Earth.
The booster launching this mission, Historic B.1058, has flown 3 times previously with the first Commercial Crew mission Demo-2, Anasis-II and Starlink-12.
Last night, Space X went vertical on the Launch Pad at Kennedy Space Center with the launch vehicle and spacecraft for a Rehearsal Static-Fire test.
The Static-fire was completed successfully this morning , and shortly thereafter, NASA & Space X took to twitter to confirm that CRS-21 will be attempting to launch on Saturday, December 5th at 11:39 am EST from pad LC-39A, despite weather conditions remaining 40% GO.
UPDATE: due to poor weather in the recovery zone, CRS-21 has scrubbed. Now targeting December 6th at 11:17 am EST.
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