News, Science

Dragon Brings Fresh Supplies To International Space Station

Canadarm2 grabs the Dragon; Image: Chris Hadfield/NASA
Canadarm2 grabs the Dragon; Image: Chris Hadfield/NASA

Did you ever wonder how the astronauts who are living on board the International Space Station (ISS) get fresh supplies, like food, medicine and materials for their research?

A cargo capsule called SpaceX Dragon was recently sent up to the ISS to bring the astronauts fresh supplies.

Dragon was loaded with more than a thousand kilograms of science equipment, food and other materials.

It left Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday.

Here’s what one astronaut, Chris Hadfield, tweeted upon receiving the supply ship:

Dragon was created and flown by a private company, SpaceX. The company sent the first Dragon spacecraft into space on a trial run last June. Here is TKN’s article about that event.

But the capsule nearly didn’t make it this time. A problem with hits thruster rockets developed just after it reached orbit. Eventually the robotic arm on the ISS was able to grab Dragon and bring it in (see photo).

Dragon delivered material for science experiments including research on seedlings and combustion in microgravity.

After the capsule is unpacked, which will take several days, the astronauts will repack it with the experiments they’ve been doing. As they repack it, a crew at NASA will work with the astronauts, item by item, to control Dragon’s weight and balance, says Chris Hadfield. “It hugely affects how it flies home,” he tweeted.

The capsule will come back to Earth in the Pacific Ocean on March 25.

It is scheduled to make another 10 flights to the ISS, to drop off supplies.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
In the large delivery, the ISS received over 600 seeds for a small flowering plant called thale cress.

Let your imagination run wild and think of at least 5 different experiments the astronauts could do with these seeds in space.

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts
The article provides some clues about what was delivered to the ISS. Make a list of at least 20 items that you think would have been delivered to the astronauts. Why did you pick these supplies? In your opinion, which are the three most important items on your list?

Use stated and implied ideas in texts to make inferences and construct meaning (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Commas in a List
When there are more than two items in a list, each item should be separated by a comma. Find all of the sentences in this article that follow this rule. Then write 3 sentences that use commas to list different items.