Dec. 21 (UPI) — A NASA resupply mission to the International Space Station lifted off in Florida on Tuesday and headed to low Earth orbit with thousands of pounds of cargo, including experiments and crew vacation fare. the station.
The cargo lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center just after 5 a.m. EST Tuesday, as scheduled.
The mission carried more than 6,500 pounds of cargo – supplies, food, science experiments and other equipment. He went to space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and was due to arrive at the space station early Wednesday.
On board are a wide range of experiments – including cells from people with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis that have been grown in the lab, a “strip gun” or a high-tech bio-printer that can print fabric patches as a type of bandage and surveys how plants grow in space.
Upon arrival, astronauts will also begin using special space detergent to wash their clothes for the first time. Currently, astronauts are restricted in their clothing changes due to limited space in the cargo hold.
“Once proven in space, [detergent maker] Tide plans to use the new cleaning methods and detergent to advance sustainable, resource-efficient laundry solutions on Earth,” NASA said in a statement Tuesday.
The cargo also carries a variety of Christmas meals for the crew, including turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans and mushrooms, cornbread dressing, cranberry and apple dessert and a cherry and blueberry cobbler.
Aboard the space station are NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Mark Vande Hei. They are accompanied by Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer.
Additional reporting by Paul Brinkmann
The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor during a flyby of the orbiting laboratory that took place after it undocked from the space-facing port of the Harmony module on November 8. Photo courtesy of NASA