SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Performs 16th ISS Cargo Resupply Mission

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft lifted off Wednesday aboard its Falcon 9 rocket to bring over 5.6K pounds of supplies and research payloads to the International Space Station.

The launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida marks the company’s 16th mission to ISS under NASA‘s Commercial Resupply Services contract, the agency said Thursday.

Dragon carried the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation designed to observe the Earth’s topography and forests in order to support studies on habitat, biodiversity, carbon and water cycling processes.

Aboard the spacecraft is SlingShot, a small platform designed to deploy up to 18 CubeSats once Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft leaves the orbiting laboratory.

The spacecraft also hosts Robotic Refueling Mission-3, which will demonstrate the storage and transfer of liquid methane in microgravity; and Growth of Large, Perfect Protein Crystals for Neutron Crystallography, which aims to explore an antioxidant protein’s capability to protect the human body from ionizing radiation and oxidants.

Dragon is scheduled to leave for Earth in January with over 4K pounds of supplies, research and hardware.

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