NASA to Highlight Science on Next ISS Resupply Mission

Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA) technology undergoes testing (Credits: Deployable Space Systems, Inc.)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference at 10 a.m. EDT Friday, May 26, to discuss select science investigations launching on the next SpaceX commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is targeting June 1 for the launch of its Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Zaven Arzoumanian, for Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), will discuss an instrument that will measure neutron stars and test, for the first time in space, technology that uses pulsars as navigation beacons
  • Miriam Sargusingh, project lead for Capillary Structures for Exploration Life Support, will discuss an investigation into the structures of specific shapes to manage fluid and gas mixtures for water recycling and carbon dioxide removal, benefiting future efforts to design lightweight, more reliable life support systems for future space missions.
  • Jeremy Banik, principal investigator for Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA), will discuss an investigation to test the deployment and retraction of a new type of solar panel that rolls open in space like a tape measure and is more compact than current rigid panel designs
  • Paul Galloway, program manager for Multiple User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES), will discuss an Earth-viewing imaging platform created by Teledyne Brown that will house high-resolution digital cameras and hyperspectral imagers.
  • Karen Ocorr, will discuss Fruit Fly Lab-02, an investigation using fruit flies as a model organism to better understand the underlying mechanisms responsible for the adverse effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity on the human heart.
  • Dr. Chia Soo, principal investigator for Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for Osteoporosis (Rodent Research-5), will discuss an investigation to test a new drug that can both rebuild bone and block further bone loss, improving health for crew members in orbit and people on Earth.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live online at:

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will carry crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the orbiting laboratory to support the Expedition 52 and 53 crews for the eleventh contracted mission by SpaceX under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:


  • windbourne

    I was thinking about what todo with ISS once we retire it.
    It has loads of solar, electricity, along with a nice backbone.
    And the European arm is capable of walking up and down the backbone.

    It would be nice to throw away the cans, but keep the above and then add sat modules to it. In particular, that would be useful for earth sciences.
    Thankfully , it will not be retired until after trump. At that point, earth sciences will very likely be brought back.

  • Steve Ksiazek

    You realize that arm was built by the Canadians, right ? And the truss sections are firmly connected to those tin cans you hate so much. By the time those “tin cans” are ready to retire, the ISS batteries will need replacing again and the amount of electricity generated by those solar arrays will be diminished due to their age.

  • MarcVader

    The ISS is extremely expensive to operate and maintain. It was designed by governments in the 80s and 90s after all.

  • windbourne

    So when dropped, how about getting rid of time cans and keeping backbone, combined with electrical system.

  • windbourne

    No, the Europeans built the arm that walks the truss.
    And the tin cans were added to the truss, so easy enough to take off.
    Batteries may or may not need to be replaced.
    And there is some 90 kw of power up there now. It will take a long time to bring it down to half.

  • passinglurker

    You’d have to drastically reduce the cost of human space flight and EVA’s in order to make the salvage of components worth it by the end of the stations life.

    Maybe keep and eye on the different satellite servicing programs and an alternative solution will come up otherwise it’ll be cheaper just to lift Axiom and Bigelow modules for LEO research post ISS

    EDIT: Also a lot of the attitude control is built into the russian tin cans

  • windbourne

    Which is why I spoke about the European arm on the truss. It is designed to walk the truss. It should be capable of attaching/detaching a unit to the truss.
    As to altitude control, once the cans are gone, just push the truss up to 300 miles. Then it is up there for decades.

  • MarcVader

    Keeping those systems + mission control + the infrastructure to build spare and replacement components alive is likely still going to be horrendously expensive IMO. Because that’s the way it was designed: “cost plus” government contracts.

  • publiusr

    I want to see SLS flights full of those roll out solar arrays–and ISS lifted out of LEO. It would be a waste to see it dumped into the ocean.

  • Michael Vaicaitis

    Most of the cost of putting those sorts of things in space is the launch cost. By 2024/2028 SpaceX and BO should be putting a significant dent in those launch costs. Add to that the improvements in solar, batteries and electronics, and keeping the 20 year old stuff won’t make much sense.

  • passinglurker

    The arm can’t do everything otherwise we wouldn’t use air locks any more. Also I said “attitude control” not “altitude control” how high it is won’t matter if it’s a giant tumbling uncooperative target because you cut the rcs off…

  • duheagle

    The ISS power system is deteriorating as the solar cells age. And it’s a complicated system with lots of parts, some of which occasionally fail and require replacement. More than a few spacewalks have been dedicated to power system fixes. The “cans” might not be the pacing item on ISS retirement. And with no “cans” there’s also nowhere for visiting crews to stay while they fix stuff that will, inevitably, break in the future as it has in the past.

  • duheagle

    I want a weekend of carnal abandon in Las Vegas with Carmen Electra. I think I’m a bit more likely to get my wish than you are.

  • Kapitalist

    It will make a beautiful bolide.
    The ISS has taught the space industry how not to make human space flight. It has been very valuable. Don’t want to make those design mistakes on a mission to send crew to Mars. Still, it has proven that space is safe. For a hundred astronauts during 17 years. I think that the next space station should be a prototype of a Mars space ship, a permanent Mars cycler. The ISS cannot be converted to anything like that.

  • Jeff2Space

    Attitude control has nothing to do with how high up the station is. Attitude control is keeping the thing pointed in the right direction as opposed to “tumbling” end over end. To provide attitude control, you need control moment gyros and attitude control thrusters to desaturate the gyros. In other words, you need the Russian “cans” which provide for attitude control thrusters and the ability to refuel the tanks for the same.

  • Jeff2Space

    No, it’s not easy to take the truss off the pressurized modules. That and the computers for ISS are inside the pressurized modules. That and the Russian service module contains the attitude control thrusters needed to desaturate the control moment gyros which are on the US side.

    ISS really is one complicated integrated system. You can’t just lop off critical pieces and hand wave away the issues caused by doing so.