Last night, the SpaceX Dragon capsule, along with its accompanying Falcon 9 rocket, completed its first launch that will take supplies up to the International Space Station. Out of the couple thousand pounds of supplies that are aboard the SpaceX, Silly Putty and ice cream are just a couple of the more interesting items that are coming along for the ride.
The ice cream is being kept in a special refrigerator that has a freezer that can reach temperatures as low as -300 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the ice cream isn't your usual freeze-dried ice cream that normally goes into space. This is actual ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries in Texas, and it was also aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2006.
Materials to make Silly Putty are also on their way to the ISS. The Silly Putty will be made by the astronauts while in space to see whether or not Silly Putty can be made in space in the first place. If so, experimenters will want to know how it differs from the regular, Earth-made version of the stuff. It's hypothesized that the space-made Silly Putty will be possible to make, but its viscosity is expected to be different from the Silly Putty we all know and love.
The SpaceX Dragon launched last night at 8:30pm EDT in Cape Canaveral, Florida, which has been the site of tons of Space Shuttle launches in the past. However, the launch didn't go entirely smoothly. Roughly 80 seconds after the launch, one of Falcon 9′s nine engines failed, but the remaining rockets carried on and were undeterred. The rocket's systems compensated for the loss in thrust and the capsule will be able to reach orbit safely.
[via LA Times]