Today, December 6, from Launch Complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX dispatched the 21st cargo mission to the ISS. This time this is not an ordinary mission, since the 2nd generation cargo Dragon is flying to the ISS for the first time. It can carry 20% more cargo than the previous version. It can also stay in orbit, as part of the ISS, twice as long. Each ship of this version is designed for 5 flights.
Booster #falcon 9, or rather booster numbered
Let’s take a closer look at the 2nd generation Cargo Dragon itself. Differences with the first version are visible to the naked eye. The new truck is a cargo version of the manned Crew Dragon. But here it is clearly noticeable that the cargo version lacks the SuperDraco landing and rescue engines. The truck simply does not need them, and besides, most likely, their absence made it possible to increase the volume of the sealed cargo compartment, and, consequently, the weight of the cargo delivered to orbit.
The Cargo Dragon CRS-21 truck will arrive at the ISS tomorrow, December 7, and will automatically dock with the ISS at the Harmony module dock. Let me remind you that the previous versions of the cargo Dragon could not independently dock with the ISS, and on the approach to the station they were «caught» by the station manipulator, and then pulled the ship to the docking port. It will also be the first time that the ISS will have two SpaceX ships.
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