Falcon 9 rocket launch with CRS-24 mission – December 21, 2021

Falcon 9 rocket launch with CRS-24 mission – December 21, 2021

Monday, December 20 2021 23:26

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Falcon 9 on the LC-39A platform before take-off with the CRS-24 mission (Source: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 on the LC-39A platform before take-off with the CRS-24 mission (Source: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 on the LC-39A platform before take-off with the CRS-24 mission (Source: SpaceX)

The Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch from the LC-39A platform at the Space Center. Kennedy (KSC) in Florida on a CRS-24 mission. The Dragon 2 cargo capsule will be launched into orbit and will deliver a payload of 2,989 kg to the International Space Station (ISS).

You will be able to follow the start live on our website.

The vehicle will contain supplies, spare parts and equipment for scientific experiments. The cargo delivered to the station will allow, among other things, to carry out the following tests:

  • Bandage biopsy
    Matthias Maurer training with BioPrint FirstAid before flying to the ISS (Source: ESA)Bio-printing is a technique that uses cells and biological molecules to print tissue structures. Experiment Bioprint FirstAid The German agency DLR is to demonstrate a portable bio-printer that uses the patient’s skin cells to create a forming tissue patch that can cover the skin and speed up the wound healing process.
  • Improving the availability of drugs used in the treatment of cancer
    Monoclonal antibodies, used in the treatment of many diseases, do not dissolve readily in liquids and usually have to be administered intravenously in clinics. Experiment CASIS PCG 20 continues to work on crystallizing one of the antibodies used in a drug used to treat different types of cancer. Scientists want to analyze these crystals so that they can create a version of the drug that can be taken at home.
  • Assessing the risk of infection
    Scientists have found that space travel sometimes increases the virulence of certain microbes and reduces the body’s immune function, increasing the risk of contracting an infection. As part of an experiment Host-Pathogen together with the bacteria, cells collected from astronauts will be cultured before, during and after a flight into space. The results are expected to help assess and counteract the risk of infectious microbes.
  • Roots, sprouts and leaves
    Platform (MVP) Plant-01 is to profile and monitor the development of plant sprouts and roots in microgravity conditions. Plants can be an important part of life support systems in long space missions, but plants undergo changes in space that scientists want to better understand.
  • Towards moonlight washing machines
    Turbine SCM device before take-off (Source: Redwire Space)Astronauts on the ISS wear the same clothes for a few days and then replace them with new ones that have to be delivered from Earth, which is inefficient and impossible for missions to the Moon or Mars. Experiment PGTIDE is to test the performance of a fully degradable laundry detergent intended for use in space.
  • Parts made in space
    Experiment Turbine SCM is to test a commercial device that will machine parts from heat-resistant alloy in microgravity. Researchers expect that alloys generated under microgravity conditions may have a more homogeneous internal structure, resulting in improved mechanical properties.

In the outer trunk of the capsule there will also be two research devices – COWVR, an instrument that will measure the direction and strength of winds on the surface of the oceans, and TEMPEST, an instrument that will test the atmospheric humidity.

This flight will use the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, for which it will be the first flight. After the separation of the second stage, the booster is planned to land on an autonomous platform Just Read the Instructions (JRTI) in the Atlantic Ocean. The Dragon capsule that will be used for this flight previously participated in the CRS-22 mission to the ISS, which ran from June to July 2021.

Falcon 9 being rolled onto the launch pad ahead of the CRS-24 mission (Source: NASA's Kennedy Space Center)The Dragon’s docking to the International Space Station is scheduled for December 22 at 10:38 CEST (09:38 UTC), less than 24 hours after take-off. The capsule will remain on the ISS for approximately a month.

If the launch takes place on time, the record will be broken for the shortest time between two Florida SpaceX orbital launches at 54 hours and 8 minutes. The current record – 58 hours and 16 minutes – was set during the Starlink Group 4-1 mission in November this year. December will also be the first calendar month in history for SpaceX to conduct five orbital launches.

The weather forecast now gives a 30% chance of favorable conditions at the time of take-off. The main obstacles may be cumulus clouds, thick cloud layers and surface electric fields in the atmosphere. Additionally, a moderate risk of unfavorable weather conditions at the rocket first stage landing site is forecasted. If the take-off is postponed to the next day, the chances increase to 70%, but at the same time the risk of landing the first degree becomes high and there is a moderate risk of too strong wind shear at high altitudes.