Canadian Science Equipment Sent to ISS as Canadarm2 Readies for Duty

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques tries the Bio-Monitor, a new Canadian technology, for the first time in space. The innovative smart shirt system is designed to measure and record astronauts’ vital signs. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency/NASA)

LONGUEIUL, Que. (CSA PR) — On December 6, SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center atop a Falcon 9 rocket, headed for the International Space Station (ISS).

In a first for the cargo vehicle, Dragon will dock to the Station autonomously. Station crew previously used Canadarm2 to “catch” Dragon and berth it to one of the Station’s eight ports.

Among its cargo, the resupply ship will be transporting science equipment for Canadian heart health study Vascular Aging:

  • Three Bio-Monitor smart shirts, part of a Canadian-made system to record astronauts’ vital signs
  • Five glucose drinks and test kits

In the days following Dragon’s arrival at the Station, robotics ground controllers will use Canadarm2 to extract the vehicle’s unpressurized cargo:  the  NanoRacks Bishop Airlock, a “doorway” that expands possibilities for commercial activities in low Earth orbit.

Dragon is expected to remain docked to the ISS for about a month. Upon its return to Earth, the unpiloted ship will land in the Atlantic Ocean.

Coverage of the launch will be broadcast on NASA TV on December 5, beginning at 11:15 a.m. ET.

Dragon’s rendezvous and autonomous docking will also be broadcast on December 6 at 9:30 a.m. ET (docking scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET).