April 4 (UPI) — The cargo ship that blasted-off from Florida on Monday is now with the International Space Station.
Under the control of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Norishige Kanai, the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm successfully snatched the Dragon cargo ship on Wednesday morning. Kanai’s effort was assisted by NASA astronaut Scott Tingle.
The astronauts are now preparing to dock the Dragon capsule on the station’s Harmony module. Once secured, astronauts will begin unloading the 5,800 pounds of supplies, equipment and science experiments.
The docking process will be broadcast live on NASA TV beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET.
One of the experiments to be unloaded is designed to study severe thunderstorms on Earth. Another involves the analysis of materials, coatings and components and the effects of the harsh space environment on their physical properties.
The Comparative Real-time Metabolic Activity Tracking for Improved Therapeutic Assessment Screening Panels will see astronauts study drugs. The experiment is designed to test the effects of microgravity on the synthesis and deployment of five different therapeutic compounds.
“This investigation determines the feasibility of developing improved pharmaceuticals in microgravity using a new method to test the metabolic impacts of drug compounds,” NASA said in an update. “This could lead to more effective, less expensive drugs.”