SpaceX has completed its 26th resupply mission to the International Space Station. The space freighter Dragon has docked with the ISS for a month.
A Dragon supply ship carrying almost 3500 kilograms of cargo has successfully docked with the International Space Station. On board, the unmanned mission is, among other things, scientific experiments and food. At the time of docking, the ISS was flying over the Pacific, according to a live broadcast by the US space agency Nasa on the Internet.
It is the 26th resupply mission by commercial operator SpaceX in collaboration with Nasa. The supply freighter is scheduled to land back on Earth after about a month.
Special tomato variety on board
According to Nasa, among other things, solar panels for the power supply, a special type of tomato for astronauts to eat healthier, and a blood test with a microscope, which should facilitate medical diagnoses of people in space, were delivered. As a surprise for the ISS astronauts, ice cream was also on board, it said on Sunday during the broadcast. SpaceX’s first Dragon capsule flew to the ISS in 2012.
Meanwhile, the end of the International Space Station is gradually in sight: Nasa plans to have the ISS crash into the Pacific at the beginning of 2031. The reason is the condition of the central structure of the ISS, which cannot be improved by repairs; the other modules could be operated safely with repairs until at least 2028. Until then, however, the ISS should be staffed continuously with astronauts, and the crew should change twice a year.
Until then, the space company SpaceX is to fly a total of ten more times to the ISS, and Nasa has meanwhile ordered the corresponding manned flights. The competitor Boeing has ordered another six regular flights with the spaceship Starliner.