SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft will splash down into the Pacific Ocean on May 5. The cargo will carry about 4000 Pounds of load from the International Space Station. The content of the cargo includes science and technology samples and goods for NASA.
The spacecraft will transport to Long Beach, where some cargo will be removed and transported to NASA. The cargo will go back to SpaceX’s test site in Texas for processing.
NASA and SpaceX had to postpone the Dragon cargo splashdown earlier. The Dragon cargo was scheduled to leave the space station on May 2, but officials reported that the weather at the splash zone was unfavorable.
According to officials, the weather was, and they do not want to take the risk. The cargo will now leave the space station at 9:30 am EDT on Saturday. It will splash into the ocean at 3:00 pm EDT.
The Dragon launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on April 2. The rocket reached the space station on April 4, carrying 5800 lbs. of supplies to the space station. The delivery is SpaceX’s 14th supply mission for NASA. However, this is the Dragon’s second mission to the space station. The first one happened in 2016.
The cargo would transport a lot of experiment gears back to earth. These include mice who have been transported to the space station for research. There are also human tissues, as well as plant and insect samples. These samples will be carried in freezers back to the earth.
The cargo would also bring back NASA’s robonaut-2 robot for repair and analysis. This robot helps astronauts aboard the space station in their daily routines. The robot, however, malfunctioned four years ago.
Saturday, May 5 would be a busy day for NASA. NASA will launch the Insight, a Mars lander, on Saturday morning. The Insight is embarking on a mission to Mars. Insight will launch aboard the Atlas V rocket. The launch will happen at 7:05 am at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The International Space Station has hosted humans for 17 years now. Scientists have conducted several kinds of research aboard the space station. Many scientists live at the space station while conducting studies that they cannot perform on earth. People from over 18 countries have visited the space station.
You can watch the Dragon’s departure from the space station on NASA TV at 9 am. Even though the splashdown would not telecast live, you can check SpaceX’s Twitter page for updates.