Photo: Richard Angle
At 2:48am EDT, before even the rooster was crowing, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with supplies for the International Space Station. On board the Dragon Spacecraft is over 5,500 pounds of supplies & support for over 250 experiments that the astronauts will perform. This is the seventeenth out of twenty resupply missions that SpaceX will perform for NASA. According to SpaceX, “under the CRS contracts, SpaceX has restored the United States’ capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo, including live plants and animals, to and from the orbiting laboratory”. The Dragon Spacecraft is expected to return to Earth in about four weeks carrying over 4,200 pounds of cargo off the coast of California.
This launch was originally supposed to go up on May 1st, but due to an issue with the electrical system on board the International Space Station NASA called off the launch until it was resolved. According to a tweet from NASA on the morning of May 2nd, “Mission Control teams successfully completed a robotic operation on @Space_Station to remove a failed power switch & replace it with a spare. With the successful replacement, all systems are back to nominal power configuration.” An article was released with details regarding the robotics and repairs behind the issues as well.