Antonio Manaytay – Fourth Estate Contributor
Cape Canaveral, FL, United States (4E) – When the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on December 4 or later it will be carrying important NASA science instrument and equipment for the crew of the International Space Station.
NASA said the Dragon’s 13th resupply mission, perched atop the reusable Falcon 9 rocket, will be science payload heavy.
Here are some of the things to know about the Dragon resupply mission.
One, the payload includes the manufactured fiber optics filaments in microgravity. A US National Lab research under the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), it will try to test the viability of pulling optic wire from ZBLAN in space. The initial investigation had indicated that ZBLAN, a glass made of metal fluoride used to manufacture fiber optic glass. The results will determine the possibility of producing high-quality fiber optic products either on Earth or in a microgravity environment.
Another payload is NASA’s Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1) to measure the level of solar energy inputs to Earth. With its advanced measurement capability, three times accurate than previous models from various satellite since 1978, the NASA scientists would be able to investigate the influence of the sun to Earth’s ozone layer, circulation in the atmosphere, cloud formation, and ecosystems.
Third, Dragon will be carrying the Space Debris Sensor (SDS) to measure the orbital debris surrounding the Spacelab for the next three years. The SDS will be mounted on the space station’s exterior. It is expected to greatly help to lower the risk to human life and important hardware by monitoring orbital debris.
Fourth, self-assembling and self-replicating devices will be among the Dragon science payload. -The Advanced Colloids Experiment-Temperature-7 (ACE-T-7) will be used to investigate the possibility of having materials and devices capable to self-replicate and self-assemble during long space missions.
Lastly, the Rodent Research-6 (RR-6) will be among Dragon science payload. The research will try to understand how to maintain a healthy body in space. It is expected also to help increase better understanding how to combat muscular breakdown in near-zero or zero gravity environment.
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