Ain’t No Junk in That Trunk!

Just a Spare Tire NowCredit :  NASA/SpaceX

Just a Spare Tire Now
Credit : NASA/SpaceX

One of the many innovative features of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft resupplying the International Space Station is the fact that it can haul a wide variety of un-pressurized cargo in the disposable trunk section mounted behind the craft’s heat shield, where it also serves as the mounting platform for the solar array. The trunk, which measures 14.4 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter, can contain a maximum of 490 cubic feet.

On this, the third flight of Dragon to ISS and the second under the Commercial Resupply Services Program, NASA made use of the trunk space for the first time, stowing aboard a pair of beams which will be attached to the exterior of the station. After unloading the internal, pressurized cargo a day ahead of schedule, astronauts aboard ISS have now used the highly dextrous Canadarm2 to unpack the beams from the trunk assembly.

NASA is gradually expanding the range of cargo carried by Dragon, and one of the most anticipated future uses of this  unique capability will be the transfer of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) which is expected to be attached to ISS in 2015 as part of the SpaceX CRS-8 mission.

About the Author:

Post a Comment