and SpaceX have successfully launched the CRS-22 Dragon cargo mission to the .
The Falcon 9 rocket – a staple of the Elon Musk-founded company – blasted off from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center inat 1:29 p.m. ET on Thursday.
It was the company’sand the first introducing a new Falcon 9 booster, B1067.
The mission also marked the first time a SpaceX launch for NASA has not been preceded with a static test fire,.
The booster smoothly landed on the SpaceX drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You, to be recovered for reuse.
The Dragon spacecraft separated from the second stage of Falcon 9 approximately 12 minutes later; the second stage was expected to safely and destructively reenter thesouth of .
After a day-and-a-half trek to the orbital laboratory, Dragon willon the morning of Saturday, June 5.
The process will be monitored by Expedition 65 NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough.
The capsule will spend a month docked to the ISS and return back to Earth in July, splashing down off the eastern coast of Florida.
more than 7,300 pounds of , crew supplies like fresh fruit, and vehicle hardware.
Also on board for the launch are groundbreaking and wide-ranging research experiments, in addition to critical hardware like ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (IROSA) for installation later this summer.
While hundreds of experiments are already being conducted on the space station in different fields of science, dozens of new investigations have been launched, including a portable ultrasound device and research that could help develop cotton varieties that require less water and pesticides.
An investigation from theand the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) called Pilote tests the effectiveness of remotely operating and space vehicles using interfaces.
One jointwith the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) could help develop better for treating kidney disease and that some crew members have shown an increased susceptibility to kidney stones during flight.
Last, the research will include two model organism investigations.
The UMAMI study of bobtail squid examines the impact of spaceflight between beneficial microbes and their animal host and a study of tardigrades – colloquially known as water bears or moss piglets – could help scientists to better understand the stress factors affecting humans in space.
According to NASA, the research will help the agency to better understand how to prepare for future long-duration missions to theand , in addition to improving living on Earth.
“With seven crew members on board, the team is really just knocking it out of the park,” Joel Montalbano, program manager for NASA’s International Space Station Program Office,. “The utilization and research that they’re able to do on board, the commercialization efforts, the technology developed for our lunar program – it’s really a pleasure to watch these guys. They’re excited for the mission, and they’re excited to see these two new solar arrays on board.”