Docking with the ISS will take place automatically on December 22.
The next launch of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship to replenish supplies at the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for December 21. This was announced on its website by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“The launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome (Florida) is scheduled for December 21 at 05:06 East Coast time. This will be the 24th commercial cargo delivery mission to the ISS on SpaceX ships. Food, other supplies, equipment, and materials for various experiments will be on board the Dragon,” the agency noted.
The docking with the ISS will take place automatically on December 22, approximately at 04:30 East Coast time. Dragon will stay in orbit for about a month before returning to Earth, landing in the Atlantic Ocean, NASA added.
Among the research equipment that will be delivered to the station is a portable 3D bioprinter designed to reproduce complex structures such as skin or blood vessels using biomaterials including living cells. It is supposed to work out a technology that in the future can be used to recreate, for example, the skin directly on a burn or other wounds. Dragon will also bring Tide washing powder to the ISS, the manufacturers of which want to understand how effective it will be in zero gravity.
Cargo to the station, in addition to SpaceX ships, is delivered from the American side under a contract with NASA by Cygnus ships of Northrop Grumman Corporation.