As the SpaceX rocket is journeying closer to International Space Station (ISS), a reusable cargo spacecraft developed by SpaceX called “SpaceX Dragon" was recently seen flying into orbital in the daytime on the mission to resupply services en route to International Space Station on Saturday morning, reported NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shared the footage on its Twitter handle with the caption, “The SpaceX cargo Dragon flies into orbital daytime as it continues an approach to the Space Station for docking this morning.” The SpaceX Dragon was loaded with scientific experimental instruments and other cargo and carried approximately 7,300-pound (3,300-kilogram) shipment, including fresh lemons, onions, avocados, and cherry tomatoes for the station’s seven astronauts."
Dragon is a US commercial cargo that resupplies spacecraft launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
🚀✅ Success! A SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching today at 1:29pm ET from @NASAKennedy in Florida, carrying more than 7,300 pounds of science experiments, new solar arrays, & other cargo: https://t.co/JGprErjk60 pic.twitter.com/ihnV5htGqI— NASA (@NASA) June 3, 2021
Many were curious about what is ‘inside’ the SpaceX Dragon cargo which is approaching the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft is carrying the 7,300-pound (3,300-kilogram) of science experiments, new solar arrays, and other cargos such as shipment which includes - fresh lemons, onions, avocados, and cherry tomatoes, for seven astronauts who will arrive on Saturday, Republic Reported.
A @SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft autonomously docked at 5:09am ET, making it the fifth spacecraft currently parked at the @Space_Station. The Dragon is carrying @ISS_Research, crew supplies, and a pair of roll-out solar arrays in its trunk: https://t.co/8Um8Bhivta pic.twitter.com/FHfZQnKCWS— NASA (@NASA) June 5, 2021
Earlier NASA has announced that it is ready to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on June 3 at 1:29 pm ET under the Space X’s 22nd cargo which will send micro-animals includes - 5,000 tardigrades dubbed as ‘water bears’, 28 glow-in-the-dark baby squids, Tardigrades, Butterfly IQ Ultrasound and new solar panels into space. But why are microscopic creatures are being sent to ISS at all?
Why microscopic creatures are needed at ISS?
The microscopic creatures being sent to the International Space Station (ISS) are to study the “stress factors" that affect humans in space. The water animals will help scientists to design improved protective measures for astronauts who are going for long-duration space travel. This experiment will aim to know more about how beneficial microbes interact with animals, this will help the scientists to improve the human conditions on earth.
The experiment includes water bears and other tiny animals that could help scientists understand how these creatures and animals are adapting to the extreme conditions on earth as well as in high pressure-temperature and radiation. Tardigrades are also known colloquially as water bears which are having phylum of eight-legged segmented micro animal which can tolerate environment in the most extreme harsh condition. So astronauts are assisting NASA to understand the variations in the creature when they are on Earth as well as in space.
On 11 April 2019, when Israeli space company SpacelL’s Beresheet which carried water bears, DNA samples along with the tardigrades and 30 million small digitized pages of human society and culture had crashed on the moon surface. The tardigrades and the human DNA were late additions to the mission. Creatures like Cretaceous fossils were locked in amber, the DNA samples and tardigrades were sealed in a resin layer protecting the DVD-size lunar library, and thousands of tardigrades were poured onto the sticky tape that held the archive in place, Wire reported.
This time, the SpaceX rocket carrying these life-forms creatures survived the crash as it was stored in a dehydrated ‘tun’ state, a state in which the body dries out and appears as a lifeless ball, here Tardigrades can survive as tuns for years or even decades.