SpaceX: Dragon Arrives on ISS With Ants, Avocados and Robotic Arm

SpaceX: After a successful launch of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in the early hours of Sunday (29), SpaceXs The last Dragon mission arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday (30) at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Among the 2.2 thousand kg of supplies, experiments and hardware, an unusual delivery stood out: ants, avocados and a robotic arm.

Contact between the two orbital artifacts occurred after a “pursuit” that lasted more than 32 hours, when the Dragon capsule finally docked in the ISS Harmony module, 425 kilometers above Western Australia. There has been another SpaceX vehicle docked at the space station since April 23: the Crew Dragon “Endeavour”.

Upon arrival at the ISS, the astronauts were greeted by NASA colleague Megan McArthur, who turns 50 today, with the message: “Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX teams and thank you very much. birthday earlier”.

The strange payload of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule

The ant colony that landed on the ISS today was sent for testing by the Girl Scouts of the USA, along with brine shrimp (a crustacean “cousin” of shrimp) and some plants.

Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison sent seeds of mouse earcress, a cannabis widely used in genetic research. Some materials such as concrete and solar cells were also sent to become weightless.

Dubbed the GITAI S1 Robotic Arm Tech Demo, the robotic arm was described by the crew as “a study testing the development of robots to support crew intravehicular activities and, ultimately, extravehicular activities.” It’s a replica. of a human arm capable of performing tasks such as maintenance, assembly and manufacturing in orbit, replacing the work of astronauts.

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