When you're floating out in space, you are pretty much dependent on those on Earth for your basic necessities. No one wants to get stuck out there without food or water, and often astronauts need equipment sent to them to carry out experiments. So what happens when you're not sure if your precious cargo will make it to you in a timely way?
According to the Los Angeles Times, some astronauts can fortunately put that fear to bed. Despite a computer glitch, the SpaceX rocket carrying supplies will make its scheduled delivery to the International Space Station. So, everyone involved will get their supplies and life should continue as usual in space.
A problem that affects one of the space station's backup machines that assist in docking was originally thought to delay the mission. Fortunately, NASA determined on Sunday that there shouldn't be any problems with getting the cargo to the ISS.
This is the third mission where Space X has partnered with NASA. The contracted company was set to deliver this load of 5,000 pounds of supplies in March but many delays kept pushing the date later. The 6 person crew from Japan, the United States and Russia can look forward to unpacking food, science experiments to carry out and even a set of legs for the Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot, from the parcel.
SpaceX is not only like the outer space post office, they are also working on commercial or private space travel. Humans definitely want to go to space and are constantly imagining getting there. Big corporations are even considering chartering flights into space. The truth is there may only ever be a handful of awesome people who actually get to travel amongst the stars, at least for awhile. But that doesn't stop anyone from dreaming.
Interestingly, SpaceX hopes to recover the rocket to use in a future mission. The rocket is projected to blast into orbit then come back to earth. As it re-enters the atmosphere, the engines will ignite again and allow for a cushioned fall. Or at least, they hope so. In testing off SpaceX's 10 story building in Texas, the researchers only calculated a 40% success rate in retrieving a useable machine after impact. SpaceX is expected to make 12 total space deliveries under their $1.6 billion dollar deal with NASA. Check out the video below from the PBS NewsHour YouTube channel and learn more about the company and their vision.