SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with lots of fresh fruit for ISS

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches on Monday, June 5, 2023.

A cargo-laden spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) after a successful launch from the Kennedy Space Center at 11:47 a.m. ET Monday, June 5.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled a Dragon spacecraft into orbit in the space agency’s 38th launch this year. It was the fifth flight of this Falcon 9 rocket and the fourth for Dragon, highlighting the reusability element of the company’s spaceflight system.

The clip below shows the 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-28) getting underway on Monday.

After stage separation, the Falcon 9’s first stage booster returned to Earth and landed on the Drone Ship Just a Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean.

Dragon will autonomously dock to the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module around 5:50 a.m. ET Tuesday, June 6, with NASA astronauts Woody Hoburg and Frank Rubio monitoring the procedure from inside the ISS.

Live coverage of Dragon’s arrival will be shown on NASA TV, the NASA app and the agency’s YouTube channel starts at 4:15 a.m. ET.

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Once docked, the ISS crew will unload the cargo, which in addition to scientific equipment also includes treats such as apples, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges, cherry tomatoes and various cheeses, NASA said.

Also aboard the ISS are another pair of IROSAs (International Space Station Roll Out Solar Arrays). This will be the third set of deployment arrays to be launched in the SpaceX Dragon’s cargo bay, and once installed on the outside of the ISS, according to the space agency, it will help provide a 20% to 30% increase in power for space station research and operations.

As part of work by students from York University in Toronto to advance climate monitoring efforts, the payload also includes a camera that will observe snow and ice cover in northern Canada.

Other research heading to the orbital outpost includes Genes in Space-10, a student-designed DNA experiment sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory, and the next generation of seeds for NASA’s Plant Habitat-03, which looks at plant adaptation to the space environment.

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Dragon will remain parked at the ISS for the rest of this month before returning to Earth with research and other cargo for an ocean landing off the coast of Florida.

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