Video Weather permitting, SpaceX will fire off its seventh resupply mission to the International Space Station on Sunday, and NASA has detailed some of the science experiments the Dragon capsule will be carrying in its hold.
The rocket will loft nearly 4,000lbs (1,814kg) of supplies and science kit when it takes off on Sunday at 1021 ET (1521 UTC) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, including 35 new experiments for the ISS crew to run.
Dr Julie Robinson, chief scientist for the ISS, said that of special interest to the crew will be the Veggie, a piece of equipment that will allow them to grow their own food.
“We’re getting close to that first bite of space lettuce,” Robinson said at a NASA press conference on Friday. “The crew eat only preserved food at the moment, which is better than pills, but eating fresh leafy greens is really important as part of a balanced diet and helps with mental health.”
On a mission last year, astronauts used a Veggie to raise romaine lettuce but weren’t allowed to eat it because scientists wanted to see if it was safe. This time, Robinson said, the ISS crew will grow a form of Japanese cabbage and may even be allowed to eat it themselves.
Also included in the Commercial Resupply Services 7 (CRS-7) mission payload is NASA’s Meteor camera, which will be mounted in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF) on the ISS.
This is NASA’s second attempt at installing the Meteor, as the original camera was among the equipment that was destroyed when an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket blew up last year shortly after launch.