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NASA Highlights Science on Next Space Station Resupply Mission

SpaceX Dragon Capsule
SpaceX Dragon Capsule Credits: NASA

NASA will host a media teleconference at noon EDT Tuesday, Aug. 8, to discuss select science investigations launching on the next SpaceX commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is targeting no earlier than Sunday, Aug. 13 for the launch of its Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Participants in the teleconference will be:

  • Marco Baptista, director of Research Programs at the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and lead investigator Sebastian Mathea of the University of Oxford, England, will discuss Crystallization of LRRK2 Under Microgravity Conditions. The investigation, sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), could help scientists better understand the pathology of Parkinson’s and aid in the development of therapies.
  • Joan Nichols, professor of internal medicine and infectious diseases, and associate director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, will discuss the Effect of Microgravity on Stem Cell Mediated Recellularization (Lung Tissue). The experiment uses the microgravity environment of space to test strategies for growing new lung tissue, and assists Earth-based efforts to develop complex bioengineered tissue that can be used to repair damaged organs or reduce organ rejection.
  • Eun-Suk Seo, principal investigator for the Cosmic-Ray Energetics and Mass investigation (CREAM) at the University of Maryland, College Park. This investigation will involve placing a balloon-borne instrument aboard the International Space Station to measure the charges of cosmic rays over a period of three years.
  • Michael Delp, principal investigator for Rodent Research-9 at Florida State University, Tallahassee. The research team will evaluate the physiological changes in mice that occur during a long-duration spaceflight mission in order to improve understanding about how vision loss and joint changes occur in astronauts after long stays in space.
  • Wheeler “Chip” Hardy, Kestrel Eye program manager with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC)/Army Forces Strategic Command. NanoRacks-SMDC-Kestrel Eye is a microsatellite carrying an optical imaging system payload to validate the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations.

To participate in the teleconference, media must contact Tabatha Thompson at 202-358-1100 or by 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, for dial-in information. 

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live online at:

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will carry crew supplies, scientific research and hardware to the orbiting laboratory to support the Expedition 52 and 53 crews for the 12th mission by SpaceX under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.
For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:


Tabatha Thompson
Headquarters, Washington