A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship was to autonomously disconnect from the International Space Station and drive home Monday morning, but bad weather down on Earth has left it temporarily stranded.
So far, the cargo ship remains attached to the ISS, while NASA and SpaceX are working on a backup plan to send it home. Space.com reports. This mission was to mark the first autonomous docking from the ISS, but so far it remains on hold.
Earlier Dragon cargo ships had to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, which meant there was a longer wait between landing and getting equipment or scientific experiments in the hands of scientists on Earth. But the kite, currently docked to the ISS, could land near Florida, according to Space.com, which means that experiments will be in better shape when they reach the laboratory.
Some of these experiments, which include studying the effects of microgravity on heart cells and how stem cells grow into 3D organs, are extremely sensitive to the effects of gravity. So the sooner they get to the labs at NASA̵
But for now, the ship remains docked to the ISS until the bad weather across the Atlantic disappears and NASA and SpaceX give the return clear signal.
Fortunately, that Space.com notes that the kite can remain securely attached to the ISS for twice as long as previous models, so its load should still be perfectly fine.
READ MORE: Bad weather on Earth delays SpaceX Dragon’s return from space station[[[[Space.com]
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