The cargo ship Dragon has returned to Earth from the ISS for the second time.

Astronaut Jack Fisher photographed the Dragon capsule from the ISS ( see the big version )

SpaceX has achieved another achievement: for the first time in history, a private cargo ship returned to Earth from the ISS. The same Dragon ship that was restored after the first return, on July 3, 2017, returned again with cargo after a month in the station.

Driving into the Pacific Ocean took place yesterday at 8:12 EDT near the western coast of Baja California (Mexico).

The robotic arm on the ISS released the Dragon right on schedule: at 2:41 EDT. Astronaut Jack Fischer (Jack Fischer) photographed the Dragon capsule when it was removed from the ISS and entered the upper layers of the atmosphere. He congratulated the SpaceX-11 mission team on the successful landing of the ship and excellent work.

On the same day, a rescue team lifted a capsule out of the water . Visible damage, at first glance, no. Who knows, maybe it will be sent back to orbit.

SpaceX expects to use each such ship three times - this is an important element to reduce the total cost of launches, especially when Dragon's manned missions that SpaceX planned for 2018 will become a reality.

On June 3, 2017, the Dragon capsule on the SpaceX rocket carrier of the SpaceX company launched from the LC-39 launch complex in the Kennedy Space Center (Florida). She arrived at the station on June 5th. The ship delivered to the ISS about 2,700 kg of supplies and equipment, including critical materials for dozens of more than 250 scientific and research experiments planned for the ISS during the expeditions 52 and 53.

He delivered more than 1,850 kg of cargo to Earth, including scientific and technological samples. For example, the experiment Fruit Fly Lab-02 aims to study the effects of long periods of microgravity on the work of the heart. The experiment was carried out on flies, because they are small insects with a well-studied genome, they quickly grow old and leave offspring, which makes them ideal candidates for carrying out such experiments. In particular, the effect of microgravity on heart function, heart structure and on how cardiac genes manifest themselves after several generations born under microgravity conditions will be determined. Most importantly, thanks to Dragon, it is now possible to find out how long the effect of microgravity on the heart will remain in the flies after returning to normal 1g earth gravity conditions. The experiment will help develop countermeasures to help astronauts, if necessary.

Samples from the experiment Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for osteoporosis also returned to Earth with this cargo ship Dragon. This is a medical experience in which new medicine was tested on rats, which helps to simultaneously restore bone tissue and prevent its further loss. This medicine may also be useful to astronauts in the future. The fact is that during prolonged periods spent in zero gravity, in humans and animals there is a decrease in bone density, violation of its microarchitecture and increased bone fragility - this disease is called osteoporosis, because of it the risk of fractures increases. Astronauts take preventive measures to prevent osteoporosis, including doing physical exercises, exposing bones to stress, but there is still no medicine or method of treatment on Earth or in space that would allow bone tissue to re-seal after osteoporosis, then There is a reversal of this process. This is true not only for astronauts, but also for tens of millions of people on Earth who suffer from this disease.

In addition, Dragon brought the results of the Cardiac Stem Cells experiment, which studies the effects of microgravity on stem cells. This study was aimed at studying cardiac stem cells, which have a rich biomedical and commercial application. Scientists are also studying the possibility of using cardiac stem cells for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases on Earth.

Last time, this very copy of the Dragon ship went to the ISS and successfully returned back in September 2014. And his second mission ended well. At the moment, the capsule is sent to NASA for the transfer of cargo.

Now Dragon is the only ship that is capable of delivering substantial cargo volumes from the ISS to Earth.


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