back to article Space station cabbage: To boldly grow where no veg has grown before

Weather permitting, SpaceX will imminently fire off its seventh resupply mission to the International Space Station, and NASA has detailed some of the science experiments the Dragon capsule will be carrying in its hold. The rocket will loft nearly 4,000lbs (1,814kg) of supplies and science kit when it takes off at 1021 ET ( …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Hell =

    Inescapable enclosed space with recirculating air plus a cabbage based diet...

    1. iLuddite

      Re: Hell =

      Ah, but the view. There are a lot of people willing to give that 'hell' a try for a few weeks or months, even if the cabbage is 56 million US$ a head. Just keep curated streaming music out of it;)

      Benefits: gardens in space will tick off the we're-out-of-food-all-going-to-die lot, and necessitate a PARIS IPO.

      1. VinceH

        Re: Hell =

        Gardens in space are no use at all until we have Huey, Dewey, and Louie to curate them when the humans kill each other and themselves in order to preserve them.

    2. asdf

      Re: Hell =

      The only thing missing is the Michael Bolton and Kenny G soundtrack.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Hell =

      Yup. Read "Packing for Mars" - probably the most balanced description of life in space I've ever read.

      "It's kinda like backpacking... there's mosquitoes, a lot of walking, you have to sleep on the ground, it's either freezing cold or roasting hot, there are bears and snakes... but most people think the view and the experience are priceless" - Mary Roach interviewed by Adam Savage

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Hell =

      I think a bit of beer and some pickled eggs would also add to the misery. I guess it's good that no one has requested them yet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nearly 4000lbs...

    I wish pounds and ounces meant something to me, if it's not in kilos etc. then I can't really grasp the weight of it (thanks for the conversion in the article). I can sort of appreciate what a metric tonne of something is. On the other hand, I struggle to know how tall someone/something is if it's in meters instead of feet & inches. I hate being a young(ish) Brit... or just dumb :<

    On a side note 4000lbs is just over 432 jubs, because you need to know.

    1. Brian 3

      Re: nearly 4000lbs...

      Just ignorant probably... it's not so hard to remember that it's 2.2 pounds to the kilo.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: nearly 4000lbs...

      I googled "unit converter" and got About 12,700,000 results (0.26 seconds)

      I had to learn both growing up in the states in the 1970's because the US was going to convert. They only got as far as soft drinks. You can get your favorite fizzy in 1l, 2l or even 3l if you are thirsty.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumb Question

    Sorry for the dumb question, but I would actually love an answer from those that know...

    But what would actually happen if the capsule collided with the Space Station?

    Would it send the Space Station spiralling uncontrollably out of orbit and down to Earth? Would it breach all the air / supplies / etc and render it unusable?

    Or is the Space Station just so much bigger and more massive that a capsule collision could cause no noticeable damage or change in trajectory that couldn't easily be compensated for?

    I've read that the space station is 450 tons, but have no idea how delicately it sits in its orbit, or what the risks are when doing this sort of docking mission.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Dumb Question

      The answer is "it depends" I think. A real slow 'bump' probably wouldn't do much. Something harder might damage the hull integrity and result in air loss or serious damage that irreversible. (for some value of "harder:) As for knocking it out of orbit.. I have no idea what it would take.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dumb Question

      This actually happened this month[1] where a Soyuz malfunctioned and fired it's rockets while docked with the station. While not a collision, so no damage, it did shift the orbit of the ISS and they had to re-orient it.

      I think a collision would be similar, docking speeds are relative, so the relative impact speed should be quite low despite them both traveling at ~5 miles/sec. I imagine in a collision situation the docking mechanisms would be damaged but the ISS could recover it's orbit. The mission would surely be a bust though.


    3. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Dumb Question

      See Mir, cheapskate[1] Russians, manual docking and remote control for a real world[2] example here. According to Mike Foale, who was onboard at the time, it's quite nasty.

      [1] They had an automated docking system, but it was made in the Ukraine. When the Soviet Union went titsup, the Ukrainians decided that they were not going to provide this for free. The Russians decided that fitting a TV screen and rudimentary remote controls in Mir itself would allow manual docking of unmanned resupply craft and What Could Possibly Go Wrong promptly did.

      [2] Okay, offworld then.

    4. ilmari

      Re: Dumb Question

      It can't deorbit the ISS with a collision. The required speed to do that would result in ISS getting a capsule sized hole through it. All the pieces would still be in orbit.

      Spacecraft in general are optimized for the smallest possible mass, and tend to be "flimsy". You could probably kick or punch a hole in the ISS hull. A collision at any speed faster than a turtle is going to cause damage.

      Once docked, if Dragon fired its thrusters for an hour or so it would make a significant impact on the ISS orbit.

    5. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Dumb Question

      It wouldn't knock the station out of orbit but it would puncture the hell out of things like it did for Mir. They had to seal off and abandon an entire module. Beat the crap out of a solar array too.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dumb Question

      My ex-wife was on a diet consisting of a mostly cabbage based soup. One of her farts could have easily knocked the ISS out of orbit.

  4. ashdav
    Thumb Up

    To boldly grow where no veg has gone before

    Kudos for the headline.


  5. Camilla Smythe


    "The camera is tuned to identify traces of iron, calcium, magnesium, and sodium from the disintegrating space rock, so that scientists can get a better idea of meteors' chemical composition."

    I suppose the camera will tell them that the space rock is composed of iron, calcium, magnesium, and sodium...

    "The camera is tuned to identify traces of Tribbles from disintegrating space rock, so that scientists can get a better idea of meteors' Tribble composition."

    Oh... perhaps I fixed it for myself. I'll get me hat.

  6. ian 22

    Breathtaking video

    So close! Not mentioned in the article is the fact that SpaceX flies many changes/revisions on each launch. An interesting modification to the "build early and often" principle in software.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Breathtaking video

      As title, yes, breath taking!

      It looked like like it came in hard and fast though, and was noticeably not vertical at touchdown. But still a pretty amazing feat of engineering and damned close to a landing this time. Fingers crossed for this next attempt.

  7. s5PGmU

    "Just Read the Instructions"

    Did someone forget to read the instructions on the last attempt?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: "Just Read the Instructions"

      Did someone read the ship list?

      At this rate of losses in a couple of years the GCV "Kiss My Ass" will proudly sail out of port to meet the next landing attempt.

      1. Anonymous John

        Re: "Just Read the Instructions"

        As first stages otherwise end up at the bottom of the ocean, crashing one on a barge isn't a loss in the usual sense of the word. SpaceX doesn't even need a 100% success rate. Every successful recovery means one less first stage to be built from scratch.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    more important than I realized

    Both the "salad box" experiment and attempted 1st stage landing.

    Seriously is it a good idea to plan to explore the universe by leaving a trail of ready meals behind you?

    Veggies turn CO2 and water into food.

    On a space station that's better than trying to chomp through the cardboard on a take out pizza (although those packing some hardware comes in aren't too bad).

  9. DuncanL

    International Docking Adapter...

    The cargo pod will also contain the first International Docking Adapter for the space station.

    OK; but how do they get it in or out through the current docking port?


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