Four Cameras for Online Earth Viewing

HDEV4-imageSpaceX-3 carries four HD cameras that will be mounted on the outside of the station and beam back to Earth live video of the planet from the International Space Station. The video will be available online and high school student teams will operate the experiment which will analyze the effect of space on video quality. The ultimate goal is to help show what commercially available cameras should make future space trips. Find out more details about the experiment here.

Five CubeSats Will Ride Falcon Into Orbit Today

Cube Sat on desk

The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket will work a bit of double duty today by carrying five nanosatellites into orbit. Secured inside four specially designed carriers, the five tiny spacecraft will spring free into space soon after Dragon separates from the second stage on its mission to the International Space Station. You can read the details of each of the five CubeSats here. A video of one of the CubeSat missions is below.


30 Minutes to Liftoff

spacex-pad-2At T-30 minutes, we remain on pace for liftoff on-time at 3:25 p.m. EDT. One of the experiments Dragon is carrying is called OPALS. It will demonstrate a data transmission using lasers which can carry far more data than radio frequencies. The increase is important because the research projects on the station produce a wide range of useful data for analysis. Find out more about OPALS here.

Dragon’s Cargo

The Dragon spacecraft that is being launched into orbit today carries about 5,000 pounds of equipment including science experiments, a spacewalking suit, called an EMU for extravehicular maneuvering unit, plus other spacesuit hardware. There is also a set of robotic legs that will be connected to Robonaut2. The R2 torso is already on the International Space Station where it has been performing numerous tests and simple tasks. You can read more about Robonaut2 and its legs here and here.