SpaceX Cargo Dragon ship set to leave the International Space Station

A SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship filled with more than 4,600 pounds of supplies and valuable scientific experiments is geared up to leave the International Space Station for return to Earth next week on September 30th.

The spacecraft will undock from the Harmony module's forward international docking adapter on Thursday at 9:05 a.m. EDT. It will parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida several hours later for retrieval by SpaceX and NASA personnel.

The spacecraft's departure will air live on the NASA TV the agency's website, and the NASA app, beginning at 8:45 a.m. EDT.

The spacecraft was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on August 29 and arrived at the orbiting laboratory about 32 hours later. According to NASA, the SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship will return valuable scientific investigations including:

  • Ring Sheared Drop examines the formation and flow of abnormal proteins, called amyloids, in the absence of solid walls, which can influence chemical interactions. Results could contribute to a better understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, as well as the development of advanced materials.

  • Anti-Atrophy tests the ability of biomaterials to inhibit muscle atrophy in microgravity. Results may lead to the production of pharmaceuticals to prevent muscle atrophy, not only for astronauts in space, but also for the elderly on Earth.

  • Genes in Space-8 tests a technology for monitoring gene expression in space, which could lead to a better understanding of spaceflight-induced changes in liver gene expression and may support the development of new therapies that can account for the body's adaptations to spaceflight.

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