Space Systems Command and NASA launched eight experimental payloads to the International Space Station on Tuesday as part of a mission meant to support the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program.
The STP-Houston 9 mission carrying the payloads lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft on behalf of the company’s 27th commercial resupply mission to ISS.
Dragon is expected to dock to the orbiting laboratory on Thursday, March 16, to enable robotic operators from NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Japan Exploration Aerospace Agency to extract the STP-H9 payload from the spacecraft’s trunk and attach it to the Japanese Experiment Module on the space station, SSC said Wednesday.
“This mission will test a wide range of technologies from artificial intelligence and machine learning, new space radiation and gammaray detectors, wireless power beaming, variable voltage power supplies, and observations of the ionosphere and the effects of gravity waves in the stratosphere,” said Rick Caldwell, SSC mission manager for the STP-H9 payload.
The Air Force Research Laboratory, Naval Research Laboratory, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory participated in the development of the STP-H9 mission.