Remember that time you wanted to be an astronaut? Many students of many ages want to be one and we’re getting closer and closer to making that dream a reality. That’s because private companies like California-based SpaceX are developing all-new ways to make space travel a more reasonable undertaking than ever before.
What’s that mean? That discussing space travel in the classroom is something you should be focusing on right now. The folks at Daily Genius (hey, that’s me!) will be at the upcoming launch of the SpaceX CRS-8 mission happening Friday, April 8th. We will be on the ground at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
What’s our mission while visiting NASA, you ask? Simply put, it’s to find new and exciting to help you better understand space travel.
From crafting helpful videos to interviewing the brilliant people who make the magic happen, we’ll be crafting some (hopefully) insightful and useful resources for everyone. There’s a special focus on building resources for teaching about space travel in the classroom, of course.
So here’s what you should expect: regular posts and videos highlighting the CRS-8 mission as well as learning resources you may not have ever thought about before. It’s an exciting time for space exploration, STEM education, NASA, SpaceX, and everyone else on the planet. That’s because we haven’t seen a huge step forward like this since the Space Shuttle.
How To Follow Daily Genius at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
It’s easy to keep up with what we’re seeing, doing, and learning during our time this week at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Just follow @DailyGenius on Twitter, like the Daily Genius page on Facebook, or sign up for email alerts to see our behind the scenes footage of what’s happening prior to the launch
2 Important Features of the SpaceX CRS-8 Mission
First, the most exciting part. SpaceX will once again attempt to land the first stage of the rocket on an autonomous drone ship in the ocean. This is highly complicated but there’s a better chance of success with this mission because there will be a little more fuel (LOX / RP-1) to use for the landing this time around. The last launch required a heavier payload so the fuel was used up far quicker.
Second, the actual payload of the Dragon consists of an the inflatable Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) which is an experimental new way to bring larger habitats to space. More specifically, to the International Space Station.
It’s less weight than standard portions of the ISS that required a Space Shuttle payload bay to be delivered. Now, the BEAM could offer an exciting new way to have larger work-spaces in space while requiring far less fuel to launch.
CRS-8 will be the first CRS mission to the ISS since the ill-fated CRS-7, and stowed in Dragon’s trunk will be BEAM; a small Bigelow inflatable module to be attached to the station. The first stage, provided the barge is go to support a landing, will attempt to land downrange on the drone ship ‘Of Course I Still Love You.’