SpaceX Dragon Returns To Earth With Mice From ISS

Posted: Aug 27 2016, 1:37pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


SpaceX Dragon Returns to Earth With Mice From ISS
This image, captured from NASA Television's live coverage, shows SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft departing the International Space Station at 6:10 am EDT Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, after successfully delivering almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and scientific cargo on its ninth resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory. Credits: NASA Television
  • SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship leaves ISS with a Batch of Rodents on Board

The SpaceX Dragon cargo ship left the ISS with a batch of rodents on board. There was also some experimental apparatus along with the mice.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship departed from the ISS and is now headed for our home planet that is Earth. There is a whole lot of equipment on board the cargo ship.

Among this are a dozen or so mice. Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi let the capsule head out from the ISS. It was loaded with 3000 pounds of equipment. The time of departure was 6:11 AM EDT and the ISS’s robotic arm was employed for the operation. 

By now the cargo ship has moved a considerable distance away from the ISS. It will soon be undergoing a blast-off from all engines and thereby making a beeline for the earth.

By the time the cargo ship enters the earth’s atmosphere it will be making a splashdown off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. SpaceX’s staff will be bringing the spacecraft into its control soon enough. All this will be telecast live as it happens. 

This spacecraft reached the ISS on 20th July. Among the various things it brought in tow included: many experiments, scientific paraphernalia, tools of the trade and a steady supply of goods for the crew on board the ISS.

Now though many of the experimental equipment is headed back to the home planet. Two of the special studies conducted on board the ISS were the mouse epigenetics experiment and a heart cells research effort.

12 male mice lived aboard the ISS for a period of one month. Once they have returned to earth their organs will be examined for mutations in the DNA, according to

The DNA of their offspring will also undergo analysis in a lab setting. These mice were shifted from a habitat cage unit to a transportation cage unit for the journey back to earth.  

The heart study on board the ISS studied the heart cells as they beat in rhythmic contractions. The impact of the environment of outer space on hearts was the focal point of the study. The astronauts’ hearts became more rounded in shape and lost cardiac tissue during the time spent on board the ISS. Most of these changes are reversed once the astronauts return to earth. The supplies meant to reach the home planet have been packed and fitted into the Dragon cargo ship.  

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