SpaceX and NASA took a big step toward sending humans to Mars on Wednesday, with the launch of a Dragon capsule carrying 5,600 pounds of cargo up to the International Space Station. While these cargo launches have almost become commonplace, one tool inside the payload has the potential to unlock the next era of human space travel.
The Robotic Refueling Mission 3, one of the many mission tools included with this latest launch, is aimed at further researching ways to store and move cryogenic fluids, like oxygen and hydrogen stored at very low temperatures. One such fluid, liquid methane, could power rockets to Mars and enable humans to create more fuel from the Martian atmosphere to power the return trip. Where the first two missions simply focused on making robots remove caps and valves in preparation for spacecraft, the RRM3 will be the first demonstration of transfer and long-term storage of this fluid in microgravity.Read More... SpaceX's Dragon Is Carrying a NASA Tool That Will Help Send Humans to Mars