Dragon Departing Station Next Week; Crew Studies Biology

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is pictured attached to the International Space Station almost 257 miles above Quebec on New Year’s Eve.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft is in its final week attached to the International Space Station’s Harmony module. Meanwhile, robotics experts on the ground and the crew aboard the lab are working a wide variety of science activities today.

The Dragon space freighter has nearly completed its cargo mission to replenish the orbital laboratory after delivering over 5,600 pounds of science and supplies Dec. 8. Dragon will return to Earth Jan. 10 for retrieval in the Pacific Ocean loaded with completed science experiments and used hardware for analysis.

New space exposure experiments are being remotely installed outside the station today using a specialized robotic hand known as Dextre. Also, astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques collected biological samples today for stowage and later analysis. The duo then split up for more science work including testing crew brain function and removing science hardware that explores stem cells and other biological processes.

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