The parachute system is crucial, because it's what provides the safe descent for astronauts on board the Crew Dragon when they return to Earth from the International Space Station once SpaceX's crewed spacecraft is past the testing phase and fully operational.
SpaceX has launched 21 missions last year and had a record total of 18 flights in 2017, while this year only done 11 launch of orbital mission until November that also included two Falcon Heavy mission.
The mice, from the non-profit Jackson Laboratory in ME, have genes manipulated to improve their muscle growth.
Boeing and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have set the first test flight of the manufacturer's CTS-100 Starliner crew capsule for December 19. The company signed up to continue resupply missions until 2024. SpaceX routinely flies to NASA's space station for contracts with billions of dollars. After releasing the capsule, Elon Musk's SpaceX plans a six-hour cruise of the Falcon's second stage to collect data on thermal conditions and other metrics.
SpaceX said it would try again early Thursday afternoon. These NASA contracts, for a combined total value of nearly $ 8 billion, represent a significant part of SpaceX's revenue. So far, more than 100 countries have used the laboratory to carry out almost 3,000 scientific investigations involving everything, from health and medicine to astrophysics, according to NASA. Private companies, from Budweiser to Goodyear Tire, also use the space station to conduct investigations. They are equipped with with mass spectrometers that can detect leaks from the space station, NASA said.
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SpaceX and Boeing are each working to develop crew-worthy spacecraft that will end the United States' almost decade-long reliance on Russian Federation to fly people to space.
The capsule, which has already flown to the station twice, will arrive Sunday.
Thursday's science payload includes 40 genetically enhanced mice for an experiment on reducing muscle and bone degradation in microgravity, one of the key obstacles for extended space travel.