SpaceX’s 21st launch this year is a robotic Dragon Cargo to International Space Station (ISS) on August 29. It is part of the resupply mission to orbiting lab NASA. The rocket lifted offload weighing 4,800 pounds (2,200 kilograms), consisting of supplies, hardware, and scientific experiments. Then booster made recovery on the autonomous drone ship, “A Shortfall of Gravitas”.
After almost 8 minutes, the first stage booster of Flacon 9 landed on the earth with a smooth touch down. The drone ship, “A Shortfall of Gravitas” is SpaceX’s newest autonomous drone ship located in the Atlantic ocean. It can catch the booster and report the booster to the port for later reuse. Andy Tran of SpaceX said during a webcast of the launch, “That is the 90th successful landing of an orbital class rocket and the very first for our newest drone ship, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’. What a great way to start today’s mission.”
Liftoff this morning of the #SpaceX #CRS23 & Cargo Dragon, on its way to the #ISS for the 2nd time & rocket B1061 made its 4th trip. ASOG (A Shortfall of Gravitas) made its first ever attempt & landing of a booster about 350 miles offshore. A picture perfect mission so far. #NASA pic.twitter.com/yUxQhg4HxU
— Greg Scott (@GregScott_photo) August 29, 2021
The booster B1061-4 was used in this launch, which flew to space only three times till now. ASOG supports SpaceX launches through the drone ships, “Of Course I Still Love You” and “Just Read the Instructions”. But this launch didn’t need such assistance. SpaceX continues to be successful with recovering rockets after its launch. It is the same booster that earlier sent crew astronauts to orbit last year and this year. Also, the satellite Sirius SXM-8 was launched through the same booster.
The cargo being sent to the ISS was named, “A treasure trove of science investigations”. It also includes a robotic arm, which is yet to be tested in the ISS newest airlock. In the testing process, the arm will be flipping, twisting, and other movements. It is an attempt to be able to do the routine tasks done by astronauts on regular basis.
Other interesting payload includes medical payloads which would even help people on earth. One such payload is the Nanofluidic Implant Communication Experiment (NICE). The new drug delivery service will be tested out in the ISS. It is a tiny implant that, if successful, could change the way how humans are treated. Because that is a device inserted in a human’s arm and gives the drug as scheduled thus allowing the humans to go on about their lives.
Another experiment called MISSE-15 takes various items or materials and sees how they respond to different space environments. It is specifically focused on materials that endure harsh environments. It sees the potential to build a new spacecraft.
Montalbano said during a prelaunch news conference on Friday, “We’re sending up a good amount of fruit. We have lemons, onions, some avocados, some cherry tomatoes, and also some ice cream. That’s a big hit with our crew.”