SpaceX appears set to launch its 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for NASA on Friday after scuttling several earlier attempts this month. Meteorologists are predicting a 90 percent chance of favourable weather for liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft, NASA said.
The launch will take place from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Carrying about 4,800 pounds of cargo including critical science and research equipment, the Dragon spacecraft will spend a month attached to the space station.
The mission will carry investigation that could help lower the risk to human life and critical hardware by orbital debris, NASA said. It will also carry crew supplies, equipment and other scientific research to crew members living and working aboard the station. One such investigation will attempt to pull fiber optic wire from ZBLAN, a heavy metal fluoride glass commonly used to make fiber optic glass.
*Original article online at http://www.bgr.in/news/spacex-cargo-mission-to-space-station-set-for-launch/
Note from FAN:
ZBLAN according to Wikipedia: Heavy metal fluoride glasses were accidentally discovered in 1975 by Poulain and Lucas at the University of Rennes in France, including a family of glasses ZBLAN with a composition ZrF4–BaF2–LaF3–AlF3–NaF.
ZBLAN has a broad optical transmission window extending from 0.3 micrometers in the UV to 7 micrometers in the infrared, low refractive index (1.50), a relatively low glass transition temperature (Tg) of 260 °C, low dispersion and a low and negative dn/dT (temperature dependence of refractive index).
ZBLAN glass is the most stable fluoride glass known and is most commonly used to make optical fiber. Recent[when?] advances by ZBLAN fiber manufacturers have demonstrated significant increases in mechanical properties (>100 kpsi or 700 MPa for 125 µm fiber) and attenuation as low as 3 dB/km at 2.6 µm. ZBLAN optical fibers are used in different applications such as spectroscopy and sensing, laser power delivery and fiber lasers and amplifiers.