Liftoff of SpaceX CRS-6
The sixth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract launched on Tuesday, April 14, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The company's Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 4:10:40 p.m., carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft to the station. Dragon is filled with more than 4,300 pounds of supplies and payloads, including critical materials to directly support about 40 of the more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during the space station’s Expeditions 43 and 44. Science investigations aboard Dragon include commercial and academic payloads in myriad disciplines, exploring new ways to possibly counteract the microgravity-induced cell damage seen during spaceflight; studying the effects of microgravity on the most common cells in bones; gathering new insight that could lead to treatments for osteoporosis and muscle wasting conditions; continuing studies into astronaut vision changes; and testing a new material that could one day be used as a synthetic muscle for robotic explorers of the future. After about five weeks at the space station, Dragon will return to Earth filled with more than 3,000 pounds of cargo including crew supplies, hardware and computer resources, science experiments, and space station hardware.