Forbes – SpaceX Dragon is delivering fascinating cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), including a coffee machine, hydroponic garden and mousestronauts. With the coffee machine, residents of Space Station will have something to serve them hot coffee given that until now they have had to do with dry power that they mix with water and take as coffee.
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has a number of research projects going on in the Space Station. The agency works with several commercial partners. SpaceX Dragon is taking various commercial and scientific supplies to the Space scientists. Some of the items arriving at ISS are mousestronauts for research that could lead to better medicines for muscle-wasting diseases.
With the mousestronauts, researchers are out to understand how microgravity affects muscles and bones. The knowledge of muscle and bone degeneration will be put into developing treatments that can better combat muscle-degenerating conditions. The mousestronauts are part of the partnership between CASIS and Novartis.
Synthetic muscles for robots
Another reason item of study being delivered to the CASIS scientists is synthetic muscles created by a company known as Ras Labs. The idea of the synthetic muscles is that the knowledge obtained from the research can be used to develop better robots, especially those that can work in harsh environmental conditions where man cannot venture.
SpaceX is also delivering a coffee machine to the Space Lab. That will enable the astronauts to make hot coffee. Until now the scientists in the Space have relied on dry power that is mixed with water and served as coffee. The coffee machine is a result of the work of Italian companies known as Lavazza and Argotec.
Some 14 imaging satellites have also been delivered to the Space Station aboard Dragon. The imaging satellites were development by Planet Labs and will be deployed into orbit to take images of the Earth surface for customers of Planet. Planet Labs already has some 100 imaging satellites in orbit.
“We’re inching closer to daily imaging of our dynamic planet,” Planet’s Rachel Holm stated in a blog post.
$15,000 hydroponic garden
A hydroponic garden is another of the interesting items arriving in the Space Station aboard Dragon. Three sisters calling themselves “Chicks In Space” crowdsourced for about $15,000 garden project, hoping their work will improve understanding on how microgravity affects hydroponics to encourage more developments along that line.