SpaceX is planning to launch in the wee hours of Tuesday its 14th resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) which will deliver science that studies thunderstorms on Earth, space gardening, potential pathogens in space, new ways to patch up wounds, among others.
Packed with about 2,631 kgs of research, crew supplies and hardware, the resupply mission aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida no earlier than 4.30 p.m. EDT (2 a.m. Tuesday India time), NASA said.
Grapple and berthing to the space station is targeted for April 4, it added.
Among the science headed to the space station is the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) experiment that will survey severe thunderstorms in the Earth's atmosphere and upper-atmospheric lightning, or transient luminous events.
Understanding how plants respond to microgravity and demonstrating reliable vegetable production in space represent important steps toward the goal of growing food for future long-duration missions.
The Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (Veggie PONDS) experiment will test a passive nutrient delivery system in the station's plant growth facility by cultivating lettuce and mizuna greens for harvesting and consumption on orbit, NASA said in a blog post.
The Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) experiment will provide a unique platform for testing how materials, coatings and components react in the harsh environment of space.
With the aim to help develop more effective and less expensive drugs, the Metabolic Tracking investigation seeks to determine the possibility of developing improved drugs in microgravity, using a new method to test the metabolic impact of drug compounds.
(With IANS inputs)