SpaceX Dragon Arrives at ISS with 'Galaxy's Strongest Coffee' and Other Treats
A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station (ISS), while located more than 256 miles over Quebec, Canada, early yesterday with research equipment and supplies for astronauts such as Death Wish Coffee and other special treats. The ship was captured using a robotic arm at about 6:54am EDT by NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel.
Dragon was responsible for bringing many science experiments including cellular biology investigation Micro-12 and Earth science instrument ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station ECOSTRESS.
The first will seek to study the effects of microgravity on model bacterium's ability to transfer electrons while the second will examine how plants respond to water availability fluctuations.
The galaxy's strongest coffee
Despite these impressive projects, what caught most news headlines was the batch of Death Wish Coffee, touted as the 'strongest coffee in the galaxy' by its producers. "We like to keep our astronauts super-caffeinated because they work harder," had joked NASA's space station program manager Kirk Shireman at the Dragon's launch.
"We created an instant blend of freeze-dried coffee, packaged by NASA in astronaut drink pouches. It’s designed to caffeinate the crew aboard the International Space Station, without sacrificing the coffee’s texture, flavor, and potency," explained Death Wish Coffee in their statement.
The ISS has supplied instant coffee for its crew members since November 2000 and even introduced its first coffee machine in May 2015.
The model was a special Lavazza and Argotec ISSpresso specially engineered to brew hot drinks in microgravity.
Now, Death Wish Coffee will bring its unique blend containing 200% more caffeine than standard coffee to help space travelers stay up and awake.
The astronauts also received Texas blueberries and ice cream, a treat considered particularly special since most frozen areas in the ISS remain dedicated to scientific experimentation.
#AskNASA goes live
The Dragon's capture by ISS was aired live on NASA TV and constant updates were tweeted by the agency. Meanwhile, experts answered questions submitted through the #AskNASA hashtag.
The Dragon was finally successfully bolted into place at 9:52am EDT where it will remain attached to the ISS for a month to service the station's crew. Once its mission is completed, the cargo ship will return to Earth with the researchers' science experiment results.
Dragon's arrival marks the 30th time astronauts have captured a visiting spacecraft with the station's Canadian-built Canadarm2 robotic arm, just days after the country celebrated Canada Day. Not a bad coincidence eh?