SpaceX CRS-12 Mission To International Space Station.

SpaceX will launch its Dragon capsule full of supplies to the International Space Station on August 13th 2017 aboard the Falcon 9 v2 rocket for the SpaceX CRS-12 mission. The dragon capsule will be full of supplies and experiments. The Dragon payload will consist of 5,179 lbs of pressurised goods and about 2,119 lbs of unpressurised goods.

SpaceX will be attempting to land the Falcon 9’s first stage back to landing zone 1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station several miles away from launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

After the Falcon’s second stage places the Dragon capsule high enough the Dragon will start its flight over to the International Space Station (ISS). Once there the Dragon will berth with either the Harmony nadir or the Unity nadir. It is also unsure at this time if SpaceX will be reusing the CRS-11 Dragon capsule or if they will use a fresh capsule.

As usual, NASA will be sending some experiments up to the ISS. A few of those experiments are the ISS-CREAM, HARP, OPEN  and OPAL. You can learn more about these experiments and others below.

SpaceX CRS-12

ISS-CREAM

Building on the success of the Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass (CREAM) balloon flights, the instrument has been transformed for accommodation on the International Space Station (ISS), specifically, NASA’s share of the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM-EF).  The CREAM on the ISS, ISS-CREAM, mission completed its system level qualification tests at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in August 2015. The payload was delivered to NASA Kennedy Space Center forlaunch on SpaceX-12, which is currently scheduled to launch in April 2017. The goal is to extend the energy reach of direct measurements of cosmic rays to the highest energy possible to probe their origin, acceleration and propagation.  Its long exposure above the atmosphere offers orders of magnitude greater statistics without the secondary particle background inherent in balloon experiments investigating the origin of cosmic rays. The ISS-CREAM instrument consists of complementary and redundant particle detectors to measure elemental spectra of Z = 1–26 nuclei over the energy range 1012 to >1015 eV. An ionization calorimeter determines the energy of cosmic ray particles, provides tracking, and the event trigger. The four-layer Silicon charge detectors provide precise charge measurements. Top/bottom counting detectors provide shower profiles for electron/hadron separation. The boronated scintillator detector provides additional electron/hadron discrimination using thermal neutrons produced by particles that interact within the calorimeter. ISS-CREAM will (1) determine how the observed spectral differences of protons and heavier nuclei evolve at higher energies approaching the knee; (2) be capable of measuring potential changes in the spectra of secondary nuclei resulting from interactions of primary cosmic rays with the interstellar medium; (3) conduct a sensitive search for spectral features, such as a bend in proton and helium spectra; and (4) measure electrons with sufficient accuracy and statistics to determine whether or not a nearby cosmic-ray source exists. It will also contribute indirectly to the dark matter search by measuring electrons in addition to nuclei at energies beyond where current direct measurements exist.

ASTERIA (Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics)

ASTERIA (Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics) is a technology demonstration and opportunistic science mission to advance the state of the art in CubeSat capabilities for astrophysical measurements. The goal of ASTERIA is to achieve arcsecond-level line of sight pointing error and highly stable focal plane temperature control. These technologies will enable precision photometry, i.e. the careful measurement of stellar brightness over time. This in turn provides a way to study stellar activity, transiting exoplanets, and other astrophysical phenomena, both during the ASTERIA mission and in future CubeSat constellations.

ASTERIA is a 6U CubeSat (roughly 10 x 20 x 30 cm, 12 kg) that will operate in low-Earth orbit. The payload consists of a lens and baffle assembly, a CMOS imager, and a two-axis piezoelectric positioning stage on which the focal plane is mounted. A set of commercial reaction wheels provides coarse attitude control. Fine pointing control is achieved by tracking a set of guide stars on the CMOS sensor and moving the piezoelectric stage to compensate for residual pointing errors. Precision thermal control is achieved by isolating the payload from the spacecraft bus, passively cooling the detector, and using trim heaters to perform small temperature corrections over the course of an observation.

The ASTERIA project is a collaboration with MIT and is funded at JPL through the Phaeton Program for training early career employees. JPL is responsible for overall project management, systems engineering, attitude determination and control, flight software, spacecraft implementation, integration and test, and mission operations. Flight hardware delivery is scheduled for March 2017, with launch and deployment targeted for Summer 2017.

Other NanoSats

RBLE by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
LAICE by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
HARP by University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Md.
OSIRUS-3U by Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.
OPAL by Utah State University, Logan, Utah
OPEN by University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.

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