In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the NanoRacks-CubeLabs Module-9 experiments requiring refrigeration are placed in a cargo bag designed to keep its contents cool. The module’s experiments requiring cold stowage are being prepared for transport to Space Launch Complex-40 on nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
There, the bags will be loaded into the Space Exploration Technologies Dragon capsule in preparation for its scheduled April 30 liftoff aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. NanoRacks-CubeLabs Module-9 uses a two-cube unit box for student competition investigations using 15 liquid mixing tube assemblies that function similar to commercial glow sticks. The investigations range from microbial growth to water purification in microgravity. Known as SpaceX, the launch will be the company's second demonstration test flight for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, or COTS. During the flight, the capsule will conduct a series of check-out procedures to test and prove its systems, including rendezvous and berthing with the International Space Station. If the capsule performs as planned, the module and other cargo will be transferred to the station. The cargo includes food, water and provisions for the station’s Expedition crews, such as clothing, batteries and computer equipment. Under COTS, NASA has partnered with two private companies to launch cargo safely to the station. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spacex. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann