The Cygnus spacecraft, built by Northrop Grumman, has rendezvoused with the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a months-long resupply mission.

The Cygnus space shuttle was launched on April 17 at 23.46 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for a reinstatement mission. Approximately an hour later, NASA’s Mother McClain and the Canadian Space Agency’s David Saint-Jacques caught the shuttle using the station’s robotic arm and merged with the station’s Merger module.

The space shuttle will remain attached to the station until 23 July. The station team will receive approximately 3,5 tons of research equipment carried by shuttle. The equipment will be used for various science projects related to NASA’s future research into Moon and Mars missions.

For scientific equipment in the International Space Station, we can say materials that measure the behavior of gels in a non-gravitational medium. They can provide useful information for growing food and similar things on Earth or in space.

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Another set of equipment will expand the capacity of cellular and molecular biology experiments at the station. With Bio-Analyzer, astronauts will be able to test body fluids with only a few drops of blood and saliva. This long process, in which the samples had to be frozen beforehand, would be able to show information such as blood cell count within just a few hours.

Other equipment will be used to test the effect of space on aging. In particular, we will look at how weightlessness affects blood vessels and heart aging. This is important to develop long-term health of astronauts and ways to look at vein aging in the world in more detail. It is also known that time in space affects the immune system. Therefore, an animal experiment that will test the effect of space flight on the immune systems of experimental mice will provide more information.

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Finally, the tiny robot trio named Astrobee will be tested to help the team. Robots are moving with electric fans and are guided by sensors. They can also hold onto railings, hold objects in space, and work on their own.

All of this equipment will enable further research at the International Space Station in the coming months and years.


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