how to review SpaceX’s refueling flight

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket on August 29 to refuel the ISS. A shot that we could follow live, and see again on YouTube.

  • What ? Supplying the ISS and sending several experiments, including one on plant stress ;
  • When ? August 29, 2021, at 9:14 a.m. (Paris time);
  • Where ? At Kennedy Space Center, Florida (United States):
  • What will we see? The takeoff of the American Falcon 9 rocket, from SpaceX.

Twelve weeks after its previous mission to resupply the International Space Station, rebel for SpaceX: the American company launched a rocket on the weekend of August 28 and 29 towards the ISS to bring fresh products, materials and experiments scientists to the crew, of which the French is a member Thomas Pesquet, embarked since April 23 for a six-month stay.

Among research work which are on board, no squids or tardigrades this time, but plants to study their stress in microgravity, a robotic arm, but also materials (concrete, glass fibers) to analyze their behavior in spatial conditions and see if they can offer protection against radiation, in particular in anticipation of future missions.

SpaceX Falcon 9
The rocket on its launch pad. // Source: SpaceX

On the medical side, the CRS-23 mission (code name for Commercial Resupply Services, which is the 23rd mission carried out by SpaceX) will mobilize astronauts aboard the ISS for a study on the prevention and treatment of bone density loss, and one that will test for diagnostic devices that could detect and reduce visual disturbances.

Regarding the launcher, SpaceX reports that the first stage of the rocket has already been used for three missions, two of which are manned (Crew-1 and Crew-2), the last flight having been devoted to putting a satellite into orbit. It should be noted that the crew currently on board the ISS is made up of astronauts who have traveled with Crew-2. This is the case with Thomas Pesquet, for example.

As for the transport capsule itself, the Dragon freighter was used for the CRS-21 mission. As always, it will dock on its own to the ISS. Contact is scheduled for Sunday, August 29 at 5 p.m. (Paris time). The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket will have returned to Earth for a long time, to be recovered by SpaceX in anticipation of a new mission. The routine, in short.

The take-off of the Falcon 9 rocket took place on August 29 in the early morning, French time. The static firing of the launcher, which is used to check its readiness for D-Day, occurred on August 26.

The launch can still be seen on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.

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