SpaceX rocket en route with delivery for International Space Station

FLORIDA: A SpaceX rocket is launched today from Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. The rocket was supposed to launch yesterday but it couldn’t due to stormy weather. The shipment contains ants, avocados, and a robotic arm, all of which are going to the International Space Station.

This is the 23rd delivery by SpaceX for NASA and will reach to ISS on Monday. NASA canceled its space shuttle program in 2011, since then it has relied on companies like SpaceX for delivering cargo and crews to the International Space Station.

The name of the capsule containing supplies is Dragon, the name Dragon is SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s tribute to late science fiction writer Ian Banks and his culture series.

The Dragon is loaded with 2,170 Kilograms of supplies, experimental material, fresh food such as avocados, lemons, and even ice cream for astronauts working at ISS. The shipment also contains ants, brine shrimp, plants given by The Girl Scouts, seeds from mouse-ear cress, flowering weed (used for genetic research) by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists, and some samples of concrete, solar cells, and other materials.

An experimental robotic arm by a Japanese start-up company is also part of the shipment. It will screw items together and performs some other mundane tasks as well, earlier all this was done by astronauts manually.

In the future more such robots will be sent to space for practicing tasks like satellite and other repair jobs, said the chief technology officer of Gitia Inc’s Mr.Toyataka Kozuki. By 2025, a team of such robotic arms could help in building a lunar base and mine the moon for precious resources, Toyotaka added.

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