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SpaceX launches Chinese experiment device, other supplies to space station

release date :2017-06-05 07:53:00  |   [ close window ]ViewCount:

  US space firm SpaceX on Saturday launched supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), including an experiment device from Chinese university the Beijing Institute of Technology that will test the effects of space environments on DNA.

  The 3.5-kilogram device carried among the cargo will seek to find if space radiation and microgravity cause mutations among antibody-encoding genes and how it happens.

  The Chinese payload was first reported in 2015, when an agreement was reached with NanoRacks, a Houston-based company that offers services for the commercial utilization of the ISS.

  Under the agreement, NanoRacks will deliver the device, which is independently designed and built by Chinese scientists, to the US side of the space station and astronauts there will conduct studies using the device in about two weeks, sending data back to the Chinese researchers.

  Watch CGTN's video on the Chinese experiment below:

  NASA spokesperson Kathryn Hambleton confirmed there was a Chinese experiment device launched on this mission, known as SpaceX CRS-11.

  Although a US law known as the Wolf amendment bans cooperation between NASA and Chinese government entities, this deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.

  "NASA complied with all legal requirements to notify the Congress of this activity, and all of the ISS partners approved the inclusion of the experiment," Hambleton said in an email.

  The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off on the company's Falcon 9 rocket at 5:07 p.m. EDT (2107 GMT) on Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

  About 10 minutes later, the rocket's first stage made a successful landing at SpaceX's Landing Zone 1, just south of the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

  On this trip, the Dragon will deliver almost 2,700 kilograms of supplies for astronauts living in the space station, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.

  (With inputs from Xinhua)

  Related story:

  SpaceX's CRS-11 mission to allow China's first scientific project aboard ISS

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