High Winds, Rough Seas Delay SpaceX Resupply Mission

05 Décembre, 2019, 00:55 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The International Space Station

Today, Wednesday 4, December, NASA is sending what they're calling a "robot hotel" up to the International Space Station (ISS). Both guests are called Robotic External Leak Locators or RELL for short.

SpaceX is set to launch its 19th Commercial Resupply Mission (CRS) for the International Space Station today, with a liftoff time scheduled for 12:51 PM EST (9:51 AM EST). RELL will detect leaks and gases like ammonia. The Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) was developed by Satellite Servicing Projects Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as a special protective storage unit for important robotic tools.

RELL was first launched in 2015 and was so successful that it launched a second one this year for backup.

Up until now, the RELLs have been stored within the ISS when they're not being used, however, as space is limited in the Space Station this external method of storing the robots will be a welcome addition. It depends on the availability of mission controllers on the ground and station crew.

SpaceX has delayed its delivery to the International Space Station because of risky wind gusts.

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This vast network has thousands of feet of tubing and hundreds of joints. The leak detectors have mass spectrometers that can find leaks from the space station, NASA officials said.

After its launch, the RiTS will be installed via a spacewalk by astronauts, and it will then stay on the outside of the station.

Human and robotic collaborations like these can be applied to more than just the space station, including potential exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

NASA plans on employing RiTS and RELL systems on the Lunar Gateway and human habitats on other planets.

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