Nasa daily picture for December 15: New Research Launches to Space Station Aboard SpaceX Resupply Mission

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Liftoff of SpaceX rocket from Cape Canaveral

The two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying the Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. Liftoff was at 10:36 a.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. Dragon will bring supplies, equipment and new science experiments for technology research to the orbiting laboratory. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station on Sunday, Dec. 17.

Research materials flying inside Dragon's pressurized area include an investigation demonstrating the benefits of manufacturing fiber optic filaments in a microgravity environment. Also on board are NASA's Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor, or TSIS-1, which will measure the Sun's energy input to Earth, and the Space Debris Sensor (SDS) which will measure the orbital debris environment around the space station for two to three years.

Photo Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Sandra Joseph



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