Spacecraft carrying Belgian technology takes off from Cape Canaveral
Share article:
Share article:

Spacecraft carrying Belgian technology takes off from Cape Canaveral

© Belga

A spacecraft whose payload includes Belgian technology was launched on Thursday on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in the U.S. state of Florida, after being postponed for a day due to bad weather.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule had already been sent twice into space, recovered from the Atlantic, refurbished by SpaceX and re-used.

The first-stage rocket booster of the brand-new Falcon 9 used in Thursday’s launch was recovered, while the spent-rocket component landed on SpaceX’s floating drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The cargo spacecraft contains close to three tons of payload destined for the International Space Station (ISS), including Belgian technology and scientific research.

Its cargo includes a QubeSat for Aerothermodynamic Research and Measurements on AblatioN, QARMAN, a standardised nanosatellite developed by the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, VKI, based in Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium.

The QARMAN, financed by the European Space Agency (ESA), is the world’s first QubeSat designed to survive an entry into the atmosphere before returning to Earth in many months. The QARMAN will itself detect the return phase and send home data before the planned crash.

For their part, scientists from the Mol Nuclear Energy Research Centre, SCK-CEN, and the University of Namur sent rotifers to the ISS on board the spacecraft. Among other things, these small organisms have great tolerance for radiation. Researchers at the ISS will study this particular characteristic so as to improve astronauts’ resistance to radiation, which is 150 times higher in Space than on Earth and thus makes the body’s cells age 20 times faster.

This study will also contribute to research on the use of radiation therapy in treating cancer patients.

The cargo is scheduled to arrive at the ISS on Sunday at about 12:00 PM, Belgian time.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...