Last Friday, the SpaceX mission was launched bearing goods to the International Space Station. They arrived on Monday, and the astronomers couldn’t be happier.
The rocket carried a Dragon capsule which got close enough on Monday. Then, Station astronaut Ricky Arnold used Canadarm2, which is a big mechanical arm that can grab capsules like this one. All this was done at a distance of 250 miles (400 kilometers) from Earth.
Dragon Capsule Bears Gifts: Ice Cream, Strong Coffee! …and Important Devices
The capsule weighted almost 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms), and it included genetically identical mice (mousetronauts), which will be used in a study of gut bacteria, a robot called Cimon (but pronounced Simon), and a lot of other devices and food!
Cimon’s job is to help German astronaut Alexander Gerst with his science experiments. The AI robot is a bit larger than a basketball. It has a “brain” which will be updated by IBM so that its intelligence can grow. In the future, robots like Cimon could help astronauts work efficiently, minimize their stress and improve safety, said the project’s officials.
Let’s talk about the food that arrived at the International Space Station. It includes fresh food: blueberries, ice cream, crab, lobster, maple-smoked salmon, many pouches of strong coffee from Death Wish Coffee – it sounds strong enough, considering the brand name!
The crew also gets an iPad Air, spacesuit gloves, and many devices to help them in their studies and experiments.
Astronaut Ricky Arnold radioed to the Mission Control after grabbing the Dragon:
“Houston, station, capture complete. Go for post-capture reconfiguration. Looking forward to some really exciting weeks ahead as we unload the science and get started on some great experiments.”
The 30th Cargo Ship
Arnold was told that this was the 30th cargo ship captured by the robot arm, and he replied:
“It’s hard to believe … how far we’ve come. It’s quite an accomplishment.”
As a special event, the 30th capture occurred right over Quebec, as the robot arm was a contribution from Canada.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.