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Archived - Launch of the Dragon Cargo Ship to the International Space Station
Note to Editors
April 9, 2015 - Longueuil, Quebec - Canadian Space Agency
On April 13, 2015, SpaceX is scheduled to launch its commercial resupply ship, Dragon, to the International Space Station (ISS) at 4:33 p.m. EDT. Canadarm2 is set to capture the cargo ship upon arrival on April 15 at approximately 7:12 a.m. EDT.
Here are the Canadian highlights of this mission:
- The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is sending 600 000 tomato seeds to the International Space Station on behalf of the Tomatosphere educational project, led by the University of Guelph and Let's Talk Science. These seeds will spend about 5 weeks in space. Following their return to Earth on Dragon, they will be distributed to approximately 18 000 Canadian and American classrooms, where students will plant them and observe their germination rates. Since 2001, an estimated 3 million students in Canada and the United States have participated in the award-winning Tomatosphere educational project. Tomatosphere fosters student learning about science, space exploration, agriculture and nutrition.
- Thanks to the CSA's previous investments in eOsteo, a space science experiment on bone cells, CALM Technologies, the Canadian company responsible for building the mini space laboratory, is partnering with NASA to upgrade the CSA instruments for a new experiment called Osteo-4. This research may lead to a better understanding of osteoporosis and other diseases on Earth, and advance the search for countermeasures. The improved device will eventually be returned to the CSA, allowing Canadian scientists to pursue their research on bone loss in space.
- In order to upgrade eOsteo, CALM Technologies subcontracted Xiphos Systems Corporation for a data processor card known as Q6 card. According to the company's figures, contributions from the CSA have enabled Xiphos to commercialize and sell its technology to the international space community, generating millions in additional revenues and representing more than 15 times the return on the Agency's initial investment.
- Built by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., this Canadian device is an adapter plate that will allow the Station's crew to transfer spare parts from the inside of the ISS to the exterior through a sliding table in the Japanese airlock. Once outside, replacement parts can be retrieved robotically by either Canadarm2 or Dextre, thereby reducing the need for astronauts to conduct spacewalks for routine maintenance tasks.
Also of interest, CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques will work as lead Capcom for this flight. A Capcom acts as a bridge between the Flight Control team in Mission Control and the astronauts in space.
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