The SpaceX 27th Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-27) to the International Space Station (ISS) was successfully launched on March 15. At 8:30 p.m. EST (00:30 UTC) the Cargo Dragon C209 lifted off on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39-A at Kennedy Space Center.
Liftoff! Science, supplies & snacks are flying to the @Space_Station. @SpaceX #CRS27 is carrying blueberries, apples, cherry tomatoes, and four kinds of cheese. All the makings of a space charcuterie board? If you were going on a trip to space, what snacks would you want to take? pic.twitter.com/4bpGySxUJ9— NASA (@NASA) March 15, 2023
This is the third flight for this Cargo Dragon capsule that is expected to autonomously dock with the ISS on March 16 at 7:52 a.m. EST (11:52 UTC). The first stage B1073 completed its 7th mission landing back on the drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean.
The mission was assigned to SpaceX by NASA, which used the Cargo Dragon to deliver supplies and materials to the space station. This flight represents SpaceX’s seventh launch under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) Phase 2 program.
Once all the material has been loaded aboard Dragon, including completed experiments and other cargo, the spacecraft will remain docked at the International Space Station for about a month. During this time, scientists will process and analyze the data collected from the experiments and samples taken. Afterward, the Dragon will return to Earth with the cargo on board.
SpaceX’s CRS-27 mission is carrying more than 6,300 pounds of payload including 60 new science experiments. Among them:
On the cargo, there are over 15 payloads sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, including technology demonstrations, physical sciences studies and the final two experiments of the Tissue Chips in Space initiative. Additionally, a JAXA astrobiology experiment named Tanpopo-5 will study the effects of exposure to the space environment on various microbes.
CRS-27 is also carrying experiments focusing on engineered heart tissues, 3D-printed RF circuits, the MAPT-I radiation detector, photonic integrated circuits, biotherapeutic compounds crystallization, foam, emulsions structure, and other areas of study.
Another scientific payload onboard CRS-27 is the HUNCH Ball Clamp Monopod, a device built by high school students from the Houston area. This monopod has the potential to simplify filming in space, according to officials from the space agency.
Also CubeSats on board
Dragon carries four Canadian CubeSats (Ex-Alta 2, AuroraSat, YukonSat, and NEUDOSE) and the University of Stuttgart’s FARGO ferrofluid experiment.
The Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) 50 mission will launch two CubeSats on CRS-27, including ARKSAT-1 from the University of Arkansas. ARKSAT-1 has a LED light that will be tracked by a spectrometer on the ground during its mission. At the mission’s end, ARKSAT-1 will use a Solid State Inflation Balloon (SSIB) to deorbit itself by increasing atmospheric drag. This technology could help prevent “space junk” in low Earth orbit.
LightCube is another CubeSat from ELaNa 50, developed collaboratively by Arizona State University, CETYS Universidad in Mexico, and Vega Space Systems. Its main payload is a flashbulb that can be controlled by amateur radio operators.
In addition to the various missions and experiments, the Cargo Dragon is carrying food, including some rare snacks for astronauts used to eating packaged foods.