The US company SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 launch vehicle with a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). This was reported by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Saturday, May 4th.
According to the organization, the 17th launch of the carrier took place from the 40th launch complex at the NASA cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral in Florida at 02:48 AM (9:48 Moscow time).
After launch, the first reusable stage of the launch vehicle made a successful controlled landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic. After the separation of the second stage, the ship began its independent flight, solar batteries were opened on it, which would provide it with energy.
It is planned that the spacecraft will deliver to the ISS about 2.5 tons of food, as well as equipment and materials for conducting scientific experiments by crew members.
The docking, which will be led by Canadian David Saint-Jacques and American Nick Hague, is scheduled for May 6: it will be realized by seizing the “truck” with the Canadarm-2 ISS hand-manipulator and its subsequent connection to the American segment of the station – Harmony module.
It was originally planned that the launch of Dragon will take place on April 25th. However, the ISS crew found a problem with one of the switching units of the station, as a result of which the start was postponed. The next launch, scheduled for May 3, was also canceled due to a problem in electrical equipment on a floating platform designed to land a reusable first stage of a launch vehicle.
The last time the Dragon was sent to the ISS was December 5th. In total, in 2012—2018, 17 American Dragon cargo ships, created by SpaceX, were sent to the ISS.
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