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Mission or Study ID:   SpaceX_8
International Space Station (ISS)
Launch/Start Date:
Landing/End Date:
33 days


NASA provider SpaceX launched its eighth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station on Friday, April 8. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is targeting lift off on the Falcon 9 rocket at 4:43 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, carrying science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 47 and 48 crews. The spacecraft will arrive at the station Sunday, April 10, at which time NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake will use the station’s robotic arm to capture the Dragon spacecraft. Ground commands will be sent from Houston to the station’s arm to install Dragon on the bottom side of the Harmony module for its stay at the space station.

The Dragon spacecraft delivered almost 7,000 pounds of supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital outpost and its crew. The cargo includes the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which will be attached to the space station to test the use of an expandable space habitat in microgravity. Scheduled to return to Earth on May 11, the Dragon capsule will bring back biological samples from astronauts, including those collected during NASA’s one-year mission. The new experiments arriving to the station will help investigators study muscle atrophy and bone loss in space, use microgravity to seek insight into the interactions of particle flows at the nanoscale level and use protein crystal growth in microgravity to help in the design of new drugs to fight disease.

Ames life science experiments traveling on CRS-8 include:
Micro-9 a study of specific mechanisms of yeast cell signaling and response to microgravity
Micro-10 a study of the effects of spaceflight on the growth, gene expression and physiological responses of fungal cells
ISS Microbial Observatory (Microbial Tracking-1C) the third in a series of three studies that investigates the airborne and surface bound populations of microorganisms aboard the space station
Rodent Research-3 a commercial investigation that evaluates during spaceflight a countermeasure against muscle weakening
Wetlab-2 (validation flight) a new system for conducting quantitative, real-time gene expression analysis aboard the International Space Station.

Data from some of the life science investigations that will launch aboard SpaceX-8 will be shared with the scientific community via NASA’s open-access GeneLab data system.