Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .




LAUNCH PAD
What Went Up Can Now Come Down With SpaceX Demo Flight
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) May 24, 2012


This artist's rendition shows the SpaceX Dragon upon approach to the International Space Station. (NASA).

The SpaceX Dragon demo flight brings a new American transportation vehicle onto the scene for travel to and from the International Space Station. Currently there are other ways to reach station, however only one vehicle, the Russian Soyuz, offers return capability. The SpaceX Dragon adds a welcome additional option for the transport of supplies and research equipment from the station to the ground.

The demo flight, which launched on May 22, 2012, is the first Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS, vehicle to journey to the station. People from around the country may watch this flight and mission for historic significance, but select students are following along with a more personal interest. This is because Dragon carries the Student Space Flight Experiments Program, or SSEP, Mission 1 investigations to the station.

These SSEP studies come from 12 communities around the U.S. and were whittled down from 779 proposals to the final 15 manifested for this flight. Participating students designed their own experiments using flight-approved fluids and materials. These then were loaded into NanoRacks modules for power and data capabilities while operating aboard station. '

What has scientists, like those at NASA's Glenn Research Center, excited about this flight, however, is not what went up, but what is planned to come down. The Dragon's ability to increase the capability for returning experiments and hardware from the space station to Earth will enable researchers to have more frequent travel options for their investigations.

"This is a very important mission for us," said Fred Kohl, research project manager for the International Space Station and Human Health Office at Glenn. "The most important aspect is the return delivery to Earth. In general, nowadays, launching stuff to the station is not a problem. This vehicle will ensure we can get back our supplies and experiment hardware."

Glenn researchers are eager for the return of the Shear History Extensional Rheology Experiment, or SHERE. They use this investigation to look at the effect of preshearing - a rotational stress - and the strain it puts on polymer fluids. In microgravity, this fluid was stretched in each experiment and now the data and supplies will come back to the ground for analysis. The goal of this study is to improve manufacturing processes for things like liquid adhesives.

The articles returning to Earth from include items such as a toolbox, fluid modules, stowage trays, cables and a keyboard, and most importantly science data recordings. These recordings provide scientists with the information for further study.

Glenn researchers also anticipate the return of facility items from the Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus, or MDCA , and the Combustion Integrated Rack-Fluids and Combustion Facility, or CIR. Parts coming back to the ground, such as fuel reservoirs, needle holders, gas bottles and absorber cartridges, are valuable for potential reuse.

Another exciting return planned from the station includes cartridges from investigations done on metal rods in the Material Science Research Rack, or MSRR. This facility enables tests controlling thermal, environmental and vacuum conditions for physical science.

In this case, both the SETA-2 and the MSL-CETSOL and MICAST studies, which melted and solidified aluminum-alloy rods aboard the microgravity laboratory conditions of the station. Researchers eagerly await the return of these items so they can examine the resulting recrystallization patterns in the metal.

This mission is not only about transport, but a demonstration of the vehicle's capabilities and an opportunity for SpaceX and NASA to practice operations protocols. This includes a run-through of cold stowage transfer procedures using coldbags.

These bags act as coolers to keep perishable samples at the appropriate temperatures until they reach their destination. Dragon launched with a coldbag holding the SSEP Mission 1 investigations. Upon return, items from the Crew Health Care System, or CHeCS, will be loaded in the coldbag not for temperature control, but as part of an early retrieval effort.

"Dragon provides an important return capability for our space station researchers," said NASA International Space Station Program Scientist Julie Robinson. "We are excited to see them reach this demonstration flight milestone."

.


Related Links
SpaceX
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





LAUNCH PAD
SpaceX capsule completes first tests before ISS docking
Washington (AFP) May 23, 2012
The Dragon space capsule, which has launched a new era of commercial spaceflight, completed its first tests before its scheduled docking at the International Space Station, NASA said Wednesday. The test flight of US company SpaceX's capsule, which launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday, aims to show that industry can restore US access to the ISS after NASA retired its space shuttle fleet ... read more


LAUNCH PAD
SpaceX blasts off to space station in historic first

What Went Up Can Now Come Down With SpaceX Demo Flight

SpaceX capsule completes first tests before ISS docking

SpaceX readies new attempt of rocket launch to space lab

LAUNCH PAD
NASA Goddard Delivers Magnetometers for NASA's Next Mission to Mars

To the Highlands of Mars

Opportunity Rolling Again After Fifth Mars Winter

Mojave Desert Tests Prepare for NASA Mars Roving

LAUNCH PAD
Perigee "Super Moon" On May 5-6

India's second moon mission Chandrayaan-2 to wait

European Google Lunar X Prize Teams Call For Science Payloads

Russia to Send Manned Mission to Moon by 2030

LAUNCH PAD
Beyond Pluto And Exploring the Kuiper Belt

Uranus auroras glimpsed from Earth

Herschel images extrasolar analogue of the Kuiper Belt

New Horizons on Approach: 22 AU Down, Just 10 to Go

LAUNCH PAD
Newfound exoplanet may turn to dust

Cosmic dust rings no guarantee of planets

In search of new 'Earths' beyond our Solar System

Free-floating planets in the Milky Way outnumber stars by factors of thousands

LAUNCH PAD
Pictures show N. Korea rocket launch upgrade

Internet entrepreneur hits paydirt in space, autos

NASA Team to Test New Vehicle-Descent Technologies

Robotic Refueling Mission Results To Be Presented At NASA Satellite-Servicing Workshop

LAUNCH PAD
When Will Shenzhou 9 Be Launched

China's space women wait for blast-off

Shenzhou 9 to be ready for mid-June launch?

China confirms plans to build own orbital station

LAUNCH PAD
NASA Survey Counts Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

NASA Dawn Spacecraft Reveals Secrets of Large Asteroid

NASA trains astronauts to land on asteroid

Amateur astronomers boost ESA's asteroid hunt




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement