SpaceX sends ants, avocados and robotic arm to space station
A SpaceX shipment of ants, avocados and a human-sized robotic arm is rocketing towards the International Space Station.
The delivery, due to arrive on Monday, is the company’s 23rd for Nasa in just under a decade.
A recycled Falcon rocket blasted into the pre-dawn sky from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
After hoisting the Dragon capsule, the first-stage booster landed upright on SpaceX’s newest ocean platform, named A Shortfall of Gravitas.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk continued his tradition of naming the booster-recovery vessels in tribute to the late science fiction writer Iain Banks and his Culture series.
The Dragon is carrying more than 4,800lb (2,170kg) of supplies and experiments, and fresh food including avocados, lemons and even ice cream for the space station’s seven astronauts.
© Provided by PA Media Tthe launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on a resupply mission for Nasa to the International Space Station from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Centre, seen from Merritt Island, Florida (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)
The Girl Scouts are sending up ants, brine shrimp and plants as test subjects, while University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists are flying up seeds from mouse-ear cress, a small flowering weed used in genetic research.
Samples of concrete, solar cells and other materials will also be subjected to weightlessness.
A Japanese start-up company’s experimental robotic arm, meanwhile, will attempt to screw items together in its orbital debut and perform other mundane chores normally done by astronauts.
The first tests will be done inside the space station.
Future models of Gitai’s robot will venture out into the vacuum of space to practise satellite and other repair jobs, said chief technology officer Toyotaka Kozuki.
As early as 2025, a squad of these arms could help build lunar bases and mine the moon for precious resources, he added.
SpaceX had to leave some experiments behind because of delays resulting from Covid-19.
It was the second launch attempt; Saturday’s try was foiled by stormy weather.
Nasa turned to SpaceX and other US companies to deliver cargo and crews to the space station, once the space shuttle programme ended in 2011.
Reference: By Marcia Dunn, Associated Press
Articles - Latest
- 'MONSTER' storm hits Sydney with giant HAIL and tornado warnings
- Meteorite crashes through roof of Canada woman’s home and on to bed
- ‘This comforter of blue’: how Shatner’s blast into space became an ode to Earth
- Wham! bassist, Deon Estus, has died aged 65
- Rotting Red Sea oil tanker could leave 8m people without water
- Ex on the Beach star Chris Pearson dies aged 25 after LA stabbing
- William Shatner's space launch on Blue Origin's New Shepard: When to watch and what to know
- James Brokenshire, ‘the nicest man in politics’, dies aged 53 after battle with cancer
- Perseverance images confirm Jezero crater is an ancient Martian lake
- Work by pioneering sculptor goes on display to mark Black History Month
- Luisa Mattioli dead: Italian actress and third wife of Roger Moore dies aged 85
- London flooding: The most dramatic pictures and videos as commuters left stranded
- After 3.5 million-year hiatus, the largest comet ever discovered is headed our way
- Bridgerton stylist Marc Pilcher dies of Covid
- Emergency clean-up launched as huge oil spill kills wildlife and closes beaches in California
- Tributes paid as former head of Royal Marines 'takes own life' aged 54
- Controversial French tycoon and former minister Bernard Tapie dies at 78
- Marie Antoinette's secret love 'affair' with Swedish count revealed by x-ray technology
- Rare images revealing 19th century China set to fetch £20,000
- Alan Lancaster death: Status Quo founding bassist dies aged 72
Articles - Most Read
- Contact Us
- Cosmic Consciousness - What is Cosmic Consciousness-2
- Cosmic Consciousness-Introduction
- Cosmic Consciousness - Introduction-2
- Cosmic Consciousness - What is Cosmic Consciousness?
- Cosmic Consciousness First Words - 1V - 2
- Cosmic Consciousness First Words - V -
- The Human Condition-Thomas Keating
- Cosmic Consciousness V - 2
- Cosmic consciousness - First Words - IV
- Cosmic Consciousness-On the Plane of Self Consciousness
- Drinking From The Mountain Stream - Milarepa
- The Human Condition - 4
- Evolution and Devolution-Chapter 2
- The Human Condition - Thomas keating-3
- The Human Condition-2-Thomas Keating
- Evolution and Devolution-Chapter 1
- Cosmic Consciousness - 3 - On the Plane of Self Consciousness
- The Human Condition - 6
- Milarepa's World
- Web Links
- On the Plane of Self Consciousness - 2
- The Human Condition - 5
- Milarepa's World-2
- The Buddhist System of Liberation
- On the Plane of Self Consciousness IV
- Contemplation and the Divine Therapy - 2
- On the Plane of Self Consciousness IV - 2
- The Buddhist System of Liberation - 2