Caltech Cargo Launched to Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft with Caltech's CASIS PCG HDPCG-1 The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft with Caltech's CASIS PCG HDPCG-1 experiment aboard is berthed to the International Space Station, April 20, 2014. Credit: NASA
› Larger image
  • submit to reddit

April 21, 2014

When the SpaceX-3 cargo resupply mission launched to the International Space Station April 18, an experiment designed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Pasadena, Calif., was among the cargo headed to space.

The experiment, Crystallization of Huntingtin Exon 1 Using Microgravity (CASIS PCG HDPCG-1), investigates the crystallization of huntingtin, a protein associated with Huntington's disease that has evaded crystallization for more than a decade. Crystallization is crucial for the development of new drugs to treat this degenerative brain disorder, which is caused by an inherited mutation in the huntingtin gene.

SpaceX-3 is NASA's third contracted resupply mission to the space station by U.S. company SpaceX of Hawthorne, Calif. SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft launched atop the company's Falcon rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:25 p.m. EDT.

SpaceX developed its Dragon capsule, the only cargo spacecraft currently servicing the space station with the capability to return cargo back to Earth, with NASA and now successfully has completed three missions to the orbiting outpost. Expedition 39 crew members captured the SpaceX-3 Dragon using the station's robotic arm at 10:06 a.m. EDT, Sunday, April 20. The capsule is scheduled to remain attached to the station until May 18. It then will return to Earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of California. It will return samples from scientific investigations currently underway aboard the space station.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has had continuous human occupation since November 2000. In that time, it has been visited by more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft. The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.

For more information about the SpaceX-3 mission and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station

Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
jbuck@nasa.gov

Susan Anderson
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111
susan.h.anderson@nasa.gov

Brian Bell
Caltech
626-395-5832
bpbell@caltech.edu

2014-123



Artist's concept of an atom chip for use by NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) Cold Atom Laboratory Chills Atoms to New Lows

› Read more

OPALS and the Moon NASA Beams 'Hello, World!' Video from Space via Laser

› Read more

Flight Engineer Steve Swanson sent this image of the SpaceX Dragon JPL Cargo Launched to Space Station

› Read more


Get JPL Updates
Sign Up for JPL UpdatesRegister today and receive up-to-the-minute e-mail alerts delivered directly to your inbox.
Sign Up for JPL Updates