The SpaceX CRS-15 Dragon capsule has been successfully captured and installed onto the International Space Station (ISS). CRS-15 is carrying around 2,600 kilograms (5,900 pounds) of supplies and research investigations for the crew of Expedition 56.
The flight-proven Dragon capsule was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 05:42 EDT on June 29, 2018. This morning, three days after its launch, NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel captured the spacecraft with the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm as they drifted over Canada. At 09:52, it was installed onto the station’s Harmony module.
During a 90-minute live broadcast on YouTube, personnel from a number of agencies, organisations, and companies discussed the scientific cargo of CRS-15 in detail. In addition to the various scientific investigations, CRS-15 included what is being dubbed as the “first artificial intelligence in space”. The Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON) technology demonstration is a soccer-ball sized AI that features an LCD screen on one side that displays a rudimentary face. It is hoped that data gathered from CIMON will assist developers in creating units that could eventually be used for deep-space missions.
The CRS-15 Dragon capsule is scheduled to remain with the crew of Expedition 56 for a month. It will then return to Earth with 1,700 kilograms (3,900 pounds) of research samples and cargo.
Featured image credit: NASA/JSC