Headlines > News > Cargo Ship Ready for Launch as Robotic Arm Unloads Dragon Experiments

Cargo Ship Ready for Launch as Robotic Arm Unloads Dragon Experiments

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:33 pm via: NASA
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Russia’s Progress 67 (67P) cargo craft stands at its launch pad in Kazakhstan ready for liftoff Wednesday at 5:20 a.m. EDT. NASA TV will broadcast the launch live from the Baikonur Cosmodrome including the docking of the 67P Friday at 7:42 a.m. to the Zvezda service module.

Two external experiments have been extracted from the trunk of the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship and attached to the outside of the International Space Station. Ground controllers commanded the Canadarm2 to reach inside Dragon, grapple both experiments and install them on EXPRESS logistics carriers.

The first experiment, MUSES, or Multiple User System for Earth Sensing, was removed June 6 the day after Dragon’s arrival. It was installed two days later on the starboard side of the station’s truss structure. MUSES is an Earth-imaging platform that may improve navigation, agriculture and benefit emergency responders and the petroleum industry.

NICER, or Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer, was extracted Sunday afternoon and will be installed this evening. It will search for new insights into the physics of neutron stars and help scientists develop a pulsar-based, space navigation system.

A third experiment will be extracted June 17 to test a new advanced solar array. The roll-out solar array, or ROSA, rolls out like a tape measure with solar cells on a flexible blanket. The ROSA, which could power future NASA spaceships and communication satellites, will be stowed back inside Dragon’s trunk after seven days of data collection while attached to the station’s robotic arm.

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