Cargo spacecraft docks with the International Space Station

05 April 2018, 01:12 | Shawn Tate

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Two days after it launched from Florida, SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule has docked at the International Space Station.

The spacecraft was bolted onto the orbiting outpost at 9 am (1300 GMT).

The spacecraft was launched into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on April 2, 2018, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

That liftoff initiated the second mission for both the rocket's first stage and the Dragon.

The launch of cargo took place on Monday and is considered as SpaceX's 14th resupply mission for NASA under a $1.6 billion contract that aims to guarantee much-needed supplies and equipment to the astronauts living in orbit. Therefore, reusage plans of SpaceX for cutting down the spaceflight expenses are at large. Numerous scientific experiments are included in this, one being about plant growth in space.

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Also aboard Dragon is an experimental spacecraft called RemoveDebris, which will be deployed from the ISS in the near future to test ways to clean up space junk. Another interesting subject of the lot is an investigation on how bone marrow produces RBC in a microgravity environment. It's clear that the assistance from SpaceX is mutually beneficial, with NASA getting the SpaceX Cargo Capsule carrying supplies the station desperately needs and SpaceX receiving an influx of cash that might be able to assist Elon Musk's vision to bring a man to Mars.

There was no recovery for the Falcon 9 that launched the capsule Monday, however; SpaceX did not attempt to land the first stage, because that Falcon 9 version wasn't created to fly more than twice.

Dragon freighters aren't likely to see such heavy reuse, at least not in the near future.

"This booster launched the CRS-12 mission back in August of a year ago, and this Dragon flew the CRS-8 mission to the space station in April of 2016".



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