Published: Wed, December 04, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

NASA launching a 'robot hotel' to space station

NASA launching a 'robot hotel' to space station

The CRS-19 mission has a backup window of Thursday, December 5 at 12:29 PM EST (9:29 AM PST) should today's launch not go off as planned for any reason. But the company halted the countdown because of excessive upper-level wind at Cape Canaveral and also out in the Atlantic.

The storage space will be used to store two Robotic External Leak Locators, or RELL robots, which use mass spectrometry to detect gas leaks from the station, the space agency said in a press release.

You can think of this "hotel" more appropriately as a "garage", as the space will, in fact, be more similar to a parking spot for robots. This will be the third trip to the space station for this recycled Dragon.

RiTS will provide protection from heat and physical protection from radiation and objects that are hurling through space.

The leak detectors until now have required 12 hours of preparation time in space, once brought through airlocks, to be usable.

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Like a shed out back of the house for your tools, the RiTS will be attached to the outside of the station to save space.

Once the Dragon is captured, mission control in Houston will send commands to the station's giant arm to rotate and place it on the bottom of the space station's Harmony port.

As launch day moves closer and closer, weather looks promising for Wednesday's mission. The launch will take off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and will use a Dragon cargo capsule that SpaceX has already flown twice before, first in 2014 and then again in 2017. This is SpaceX's 19th mission under the contract.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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