Sci & Tech

SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship Bids Farewell to Space Station After Stormy Delays

Spacex Cargo Ship Departs Space Station After Stormy Delays
Spacex Cargo Ship Departs Space Station After Stormy Delays

A storm-delayed SpaceX spacecraft bid farewell to the International Space Station on July 8 for the journey back to Earth.
The CRS-22 Dragon cargo ship undocked from the station's Harmony module at 10:40 a.m. EDT (1440 GMT), departing for a return to Earth and an eventual arrival in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tallahassee, Florida, reported.
It will take 37 hours for Dragon to return to Earth, with splashdown set for July 9 at 11:30 p.m. EDT (July 10 0330 GMT), NASA officials said in a live webcast, likely due to a 48-hour delay in departure caused by Tropical Storm Elsa surging along the eastern coast of the United States. Splashdown will not be broadcast live.
Usually a Dragon ship returns to Earth within a day or two of undocking or unberthing, as some of the experiments are typically refrigerated. The experiments will be sent back to NASA's Space Station Processing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to minimize the effects of gravity on the samples, the press release stated.
But the agency said it would not rush the splashdown process. 
"Certain parameters like wind speeds and wave heights must be within certain limits to ensure the safety of the recovery teams, the science and the spacecraft," NASA said in a Wednesday press release.
The ship, carrying 5,000 lbs. (roughly 2,265 kilograms) of equipment, experiments and other things, was supposed to depart the station on July 6 and then July 7, but continued high winds and dangerous conditions from Elsa forced delays.
The cargo ship departed the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 3 for a docking on June 5, carrying 7,300 lbs. (3,311 kg) of supplies for the space station crew. Among its cargo were new Boeing-built ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays that spacewalking astronauts have been deploying this month to boost power levels on the ISS. 
The older arrays are still working, but are beyond their design lifetime and showing expected power declines.

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