According to NASA, quoted by Spanish news agency EFE, the dragon, which weighed more than 3,300 kilograms, automatically connected itself to the EEI’s Harmony module at 5:09 a.m. US time (11:09 am Lisbon), which was in the Pacific Ocean at the time.
With the advent of the SpaceX capsule, five space structures have now been annexed to the EEI in an operation supervised by American astronauts Shane Kimbero and Megan McArthur: the cargo ship Cygnus-15, the unmanned mission Crew-2 and the Russian Progress 77-S18. And now the dragon.
The Dragon carried two large detachable solar panels, the first of a total of six, with the aim of increasing the power transmission to the NASA space station by 30%.
This first pair of panels, called Rosa in its English acronym, was already tested in EEI in 2017 and will be placed during space travel on the 16th and 20th.
As part of the scientific and research material, the dragon carried cargoes of squids and tortoises (a microscopic animal popularly known as water bears, measuring 1.5 millimeters in age).
With squids, the study of the impact of microgravity on microbial coexistence and the ability to sustain the most hospitable environments with respect to dartigrates, including the study of the effect of microgravity and radiation.
The dragon will stay in the EEI for about a month before returning with research supplies on a Falcon 9 rocket launched on its maiden voyage on Wednesday, returning to flight on its third manned mission EEI. NASA and Elon Musk’s Crew-3 are scheduled for fall this year.
This is the 22nd mission to provide the Orbital Laboratory, which was carried out by NASA in a public-private partnership with SpaceX, founded in 2002 by Musk, who is also the founder of electric car manufacturer Tesla.