SpaceX launches sea creatures, solar panels to space station
SpaceX, an aerospace company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, launched sea creatures and solar panels to the International Space Station on Thursday. They are expected to dock Saturday.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft took off from the Kennedy Space Center carrying sea creatures including bobtail squid, bacteria and tardigrades, according to a NASA press release.
The tardigrades will be used to study how the animal is able to adapt to high-stress environments as the “results could advance scientists’ understanding of the stress factors that affect humans in space.”
The bacteria and bobtail squid will be used “to examine the effects of spaceflight on interactions between beneficial microbes and their animal hosts.” The results could be used to help “preserve astronaut health.”
The more than 7,300 pound cargo will also include the first of three new sets of solar panels to provide the increased energy needed for the experiments and other activities conducted at the station.
Two spacewalks will be done on June 16 and June 20 to install the ISS Roll-out Solar Arrays.
Other items sent to the seven astronauts at the station are onions, avocados, lemons and tomatoes, according to The Associated Press.
SpaceX has conducted 22 supply runs to the space station for NASA.
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