December saw a ton of space activities, which included multiple launches as well as a resupply mission to the International Space Station. This week, SpaceX launched its 19th International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission, where it successfully delivered over 5,200 pounds of experimental equipment and supplies to the Space Station.

According to Time, the latest SpaceX mission used a brand new Falcon 9 rocket and employed a Dragon cargo spacecraft, which arrived at the ISS on Sunday morning. Aboard the Dragon cargo spacecraft was loads of new equipment for the ISS, like the emotionally intelligent IBM-powered assistant robot, TechCrunch reported.

The ISS used a large robotic arm to capture the Dragon cargo spacecraft. The robotic arm was operated by the ISS station commander Luca Parmitano and astronaut Andrew Morgan.

SpaceX brings mighty mice and worms to the International Space Station

SpaceX made another historic delivery to the ISS this week.

It's marked the third visit of the SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Aboard the SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft were genetically enhanced mighty mice and around 36,000 pest-killing worms, which will be a part of an agricultural experiment aimed at controlling pests on Earth. The genetically-engineered mice will be used in a number of muscle and bone experiments, which will help scientists understand how to limit muscle and bone loss in space.

The mighty mice will also produce over 3 million mice in an incubator and be brought back to Planet Earth in a frozen state, according to Space.com.

In addition to mighty mice and pest-killing worms, the Dragon cargo spacecraft also delivered a high-tech toolbox and a new hyperspectral Earth-imaging system, which was developed by the Japanese scientists for use in oil exploration. Also delivered was a large, emotionally intelligent IBM-powered assistant robot.

This new IBM robot is an improved version of the previous robot that flew up last year, the CNBC reported.

The Dragon capsule spacecraft is scheduled to leave the Space Station and return to Earth in January, splashing into the vast Pacific Ocean. The ISS has another set of payload delivery coming this week. The Russian Progress 74 was launched from Kazakhstan on December 6. NASA TV is expected to provide live coverage of the Russian Progress 74 rendezvous and docking mission with the ISS.

SpaceX performs long-duration space missions

In other SpaceX-related stories, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 reusable rocket has successfully performed an extended mission. This latest space mission helped demonstrate SpaceX’s ability to perform long-duration missions to deliver US military payloads into high-altitude geosynchronous orbit.

SpaceX president and CEO Gwynne Shotwell announced the latest SpaceX test in a recent meeting with reporters at the company’s Hawthorne headquarters.

The CEO described the latest test as a big success. This is not the first time SpaceX has performed long-duration space missions. The company already performed this kind of mission with a recent Falcon Heavy flight mission last June, where it conducted four upper stage engine burns over three-and-a-half hours to deliver over two dozen of payloads into three different orbits.

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