SpaceX successfully launches 12th resupply mission

Some proteins crystallize better in microgravity, where they grow larger and have fewer imperfections. Crystals grown on the space station benefits medical research into radiation damage, bone loss, and muscle atrophy.
By Robert Balkovich | Aug 19, 2017
SpaceX successfully launched and re-landed its Falcon 9 rocket Monday on its way to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). This is the commercial space company's 12th resupply mission for NASA.

The Dragon spacecraft is loaded with more than 6,400 pounds of supplies and payloads, including materials to support some 250 science experiments, a statement by SpaceX said.

Aside from food supplies tortillas and hot sauce are said to be ISS favorites the resupply vehicle will deliver instruments to study phenomena from protein crystal growth to cosmic ray particles.

One experiment, called the Multi-Omics-Mouse, will study the effects of space flight on the immune systems of mice by looking at the way their gut environments respond to food with and without fructooligosaccharides, according to Spaceref. Another dubbed Rodent Research 9 will look at the way microgravity affects the bones and muscles of rodents during long space flights.

Some proteins crystallize better in microgravity, where they grow larger and have fewer imperfections. Crystals grown on the space station benefits medical research into radiation damage, bone loss, and muscle atrophy. The Light Microscopy Module Biophysics 3 experiment seeks to determine which proteins crystallize best in space.

Dragon also is carrying resources for a NASA-funded experiment dubbed Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass, or CREAM, to study the effects of long-term space flight on the vision and joints of mice, a report by Wired said.

Also aboard Dragon is a Hewlett Packard Enterprise supercomputer, which will test whether a high-performance off-the-shelf computer will operate in the harsh conditions of space for a period of one year.

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