SpaceX has recycled the Dragon capsule back to the International Space Station, in one of its used Falcon 9s – after more than two hours of landing the rocket back to earth. And the Dragon capsule carried back supplies for the ISS along with Christmas gifts for astronauts up there in the space.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been carrying supplies for the ISS since over five years now, but for the festive season, Musk decided to make it extra special by creating space history. The latest resupply delivery to the ISS was completed successfully by a refurbished-reused space rocket – the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft. The Falcon 9 booster is the same one that resupplied the ISS in June 2017, while the Dragon spacecraft first carted supplies to the orbiting laboratory way back in April 2015. Dragon, loaded with over 2000 kg supplies, was launched from Cape Canaveral on Friday via the Falcon 9 rocket.
The 2000 kg supplies include goods for ISS’ space lab, station goods, supplies for experimental mice, Budweiser’s barley seeds as a part of brewing space beer and of course Christmas presents for ISS astronauts. About the Christmas presents, NASA is being secretive, true Santa style, you know? But NASA did share about the digitally sent copy of newly released “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” movie on Friday, as a special holiday treat for the astronauts. Boy, do the astronauts living in space love space war movies, or what! After unloading, Dragon capsule is scheduled to stay at the orbiting outpost till mid-January and will return to Earth after that.
Not just that, Dragon will bring back precisely 1632 load of cargo to Earth when the capsule will conduct its de-orbit burn, re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and splash down in Pacific Ocean. And if that is achieved, it will be yet another achievement for SpaceX and Dragon will literally be a space warrior – guess the Force is with it? Jokes aside, if Dragon returns back to Earth successfully, in a reusable condition, it will be a step ahead towards the idea of regular re-flights of SpaceX rockets and spaceships – not just to ISS but may be even to Mars, with humans. Dreams. High dreams.