A nest of genetically-engineered mice, a research study to observe the behavior of fires in space, and an experiment that could lead to brewing beer in microgravity are among more than 5,700 pounds of cargo inside a SpaceX Dragon capsule awaiting launch from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station Thursday.
After completing a launch day dress rehearsal Dec. 6, United Launch Alliance and Boeing teams are going through a series of readiness reviews this week ahead of the planned Dec. 20 launch from Cape Canaveral of the first Starliner crew capsule atop an Atlas 5 rocket on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station.
After prepping their patient — a $2 billion cosmic ray detector — during two earlier spacewalks, two space station astronauts ventured back outside for a third outing Monday to carry out what amounted to transplant surgery, installing replacement coolant pumps in a bid to revive the costly instrument and extend its life.
After scrubbing a launch attempt Nov. 29 due to a problem with a second stage umbilical, Rocket Lab launched seven small satellites on an Electron booster from New Zealand at 3:18 a.m. EST (0818 GMT) Friday. The Electron rocket lifted off with an upgraded first stage carrying new hardware to control the rocket’s re-entry before teams attempt to catch the booster on future missions for refurbishment and reuse.