The view from inside the space station as SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon arrived some four weeks ago on Dec. 17, 2017. The spacecraft departed the outpost Jan. 13, 2018. Photo Credit: NASA
The first visiting vehicle activity at the International Space Station in 2018 concluded Jan. 13 with the unberthing, departure and splashdown of SpaceX’s CRS-13 Dragon cargo ship after spending nearly a month at the orbiting outpost.
This was the second time the Hawthorne, California-based company utilized a refurbished Dragon capsule. The pressure vessel first flew as part of the CRS-6 mission in April 2015. Additionally, the Dec. 15, 2017, CRS-13 launch was the first time NASA utilized a “previously-flown” Falcon 9 first stage core.
CRS-13 brought to the outpost 4,861 pounds (2,205 kilograms) of food, supplies, experiments and equipment to the ISS. The crew of Expedition 54 spent the last four weeks unloading the capsule and reloading it with unneeded equipment as well as experiments to return to Earth for data collection. According to NASA, approximately 4,100 pounds (1,860 kilograms) of cargo, science and technology demonstration samples loaded inside Dragon.
Once the hatches between Dragon and the ISS were closed, ground-based robotics operators utilized Canadarm2—the stations 58-foot (17.6-meter) robotic ...