The latest Dragon cargo vehicle was launched to the International Space Station on 2 April, taking with it ESA’s Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor.
Mounted in Dragon’s cargo bay, this suite of instruments will search for high-altitude electrical discharges associated with stormy weather. It is the first time that such a set of sensitive cameras, light sensors and X- and gamma-ray detectors are flying together to study the inner anatomy of luminous phenomena in Earth’s upper atmosphere and the link with bursts of high-energy radiation. Read more about the monitor here.
Dragon will dock with the Space Station on 4 April, with installation of the monitor expected on 13 April on the outside of Europe’s Columbus laboratory. Once it has been switched on and thoroughly checked for about a month, then the fascinating observations can begin.