SpaceX has harbored its Cargo Dragon capsule carrying Christmas goodies at the International Space Station (ISS) alongside another Dragon capsule, which has ferried four astronauts three weeks ago. For the first time in history, the company has docked its two spacecraft at the space station simultaneously. Both spacecraft have filled both available spots at the orbiting lab. Along with Christmas goodies, the Cargo Dragon capsule for NASA’s CRS-21 mission has carried nearly 6500 pounds of research and other supplies as well. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins has said that it is amazing to see that in less than a month one spacecraft has docked four astronauts at the space station and another has brought world-renowned research for them to work on it. As per the report, from now onwards, SpaceX will have at least one spacecraft constantly docked at the International Space Station as the company transports regular crew and cargo missions for NASA and other institutions to ISS.
The officials of the company have said that SpaceX is going to launch a small fleet of its Dragon capsule. It is planning to build five of the Crew Dragon variation along with three of the Cargo Dragon variations as well. Unlike the company’s other cargo carriers, which need to be picked from the orbit by the space station’s robot arm, the large and updated model has been docked by itself after shooting up from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The crew has been monitoring all the actions as the Dragon capsule has pulled up and docked itself at the space station 260 miles or 420 kilometers above the Indian Ocean. The Cargo Dragon will stay at the space station for one more month before descending into the Atlantic along with science samples.
Apart from new research, NASA’s CRS-21 mission has carried a holiday menu for the astronauts who will be spending many months in space. As per the report, NASA’s Christmas menu has roasted turkey, macaroni and cheese, cherry blueberry cobbler, shortbread cookies, and other stuff. The CRS-21 is a new airlock for the International Space Station which has been developed by a spacecraft manufacturing firm called Nanoracks. It has been privately funded. The new hardware, which is going to be installed on the American side of the ISS, is called Bishop Airlock. It will help set up cube satellites, jettison trash. It will also help astronauts to recover external pieces of the orbiting lab whenever a replacement is needed.