SpaceX CRS-16

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SpaceX CRS-16
SpaceX CRS-16 Dragon approaches the ISS (2).jpg
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft
Mission typeISS resupply
COSPAR ID2018-101A
SATCAT no.43827
Mission duration39 days, 10 hours, 54 minutes
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftDragon C112.2
Spacecraft typeCRS Dragon
Dry mass4,200 kg (9,300 lb)
DimensionsHeight: 6.1 m (20 ft)
Diameter: 3.7 m (12 ft)
Start of mission
Launch date5 December 2018, 18:16 (2018-12-05UTC18:16) UTC
RocketFalcon 9 Block 5
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-40
End of mission
Landing date14 January 2019 (2019-01-15), ≈05:10 UTC[1]
Landing sitePacific Ocean, off Baja California
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Berthing at ISS
Berthing portHarmony nadir
RMS capture8 December 2018, 12:21 UTC[2][3]
Berthing date8 December 2018, 15:36 UTC[4]
Unberthing date13 January 2019, ≈20:00 UTC[5]
RMS release13 January 2019, 23:33 UTC[6]
Time berthed36 days, 4 hours, 24 minutes
Mass2,573 kg (5,672 lb)
Pressurised1,598 kg (3,523 lb)
Unpressurised975 kg (2,150 lb)
SpaceX CRS-16 Patch.png
NASA SpX-16 mission patch  

SpaceX CRS-16, also known as SpX-16, was a Commercial Resupply Service mission to the International Space Station launched on 5 December 2018[7] aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.[8] The mission was contracted by NASA and is flown by SpaceX.

This CRS mission is the first with the Falcon 9 Block 5. It carried the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar and the Robotic Refueling Mission 3 experiment as external payloads.


On February 2016, it was announced that NASA had awarded a contract extension to SpaceX for five additional CRS missions (CRS-16 to CRS-20).[9] As of June 2016, a NASA Inspector General report had this mission manifested for August 2018,[10] but it was later delayed to 29 November,[11] 4 December,[8] and 5 December 2018.[12]

The first stage booster B1050.1 experienced a grid fin hydraulic pump stall on re-entry. This caused the first stage to go into a roll after the re-entry burn. It failed to reach Landing Zone 1, but recovered enough to achieve a water landing off Cape Canaveral. Shortly after the landing, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, stated the booster appeared undamaged and was being recovered. He also stated that if the damage is not enough to retire the booster, it "could be used for an internal SpaceX mission in the future".[13]

On 13 January 2019, Dragon was released from ISS at 23:33 UTC and deorbited, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean approximately 5 hours later on 14 January at 05:10 UTC, returning more than 2,500 kg (5,512 lb) of cargo to Earth.[1]


NASA has contracted for the CRS-16 mission from SpaceX and therefore determines the primary payload, date/time of launch, and orbital parameters for the Dragon space capsule. CRS-16 carried a total of 2,573 kg (5,672 lb) of material into orbit. This included 1,598 kg (3,523 lb) of pressurised cargo with packaging bound for the International Space Station, and 975 kg (2,150 lb) of unpressurised cargo composed of two external station experiments: the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar and the Robotic Refueling Mission 3.[14][15] Forty mice also flew with the payload in an experiment called Rodent Research-8 (RR-8).[12]

The CRS-16 mission also carried a pair of CubeSats originally planned to launch aboard the Cygnus NG-10 International Space Station cargo resupply mission, but which were deferred. These included the UNITE CubeSat from the University of Southern Indiana and the TechEdSat-8 CubeSat from NASA's Ames Research Center.[16]

The following is a breakdown of cargo bound for the ISS:[17]

  • Crew supplies: 304 kg (670 lb)
  • Science investigations: 1,037 kg (2,286 lb)
    • Rodent Research-8 (RR-8)[18]
    • Molecular Muscle Experiment (MME)[19]
    • Growth of Large, Perfect Protein Crystals for Neutron Crystallography (Perfect Crystals)[20]
  • Spacewalk equipment: 15 kg (33 lb)
  • Vehicle hardware: 191 kg (421 lb)
  • Computer resources: 40 kg (88 lb)
  • Russian hardware: 11 kg (24 lb)
  • External payloads:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bergin, Chris (14 January 2019). "CRS-16 Dragon returns to Earth following ISS departure". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Dragon in the Grips of Robotic Arm, Installation Occurs Next". NASA. 8 December 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  3. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (8 December 2018). "Dragon brings the science; NASA, SpaceX realign DM-1 test to NET 17 January launch". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  4. ^ Garcia, Mark. "Dragon Attached to Station, Returns to Earth in January". NASA. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  5. ^ Richardson, Derek (13 January 2019). "CRS-16 unberthing, splashdown". Orbital Velocity. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  6. ^ Richardson, Derek (14 January 2019). "SpaceX Completes 16th Dragon Mission to ISS". Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  7. ^ Lewin, Sarah (5 December 2018). "SpaceX Launches Dragon Cargo Ship to Space Station, But Misses Rocket Landing". Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b Pietrobon, Steven (1 November 2018). "United States Commercial LV Launch Manifest". Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  9. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (24 February 2016). "SpaceX wins 5 new space station cargo missions in NASA contract estimated at $700 million". Space News. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  10. ^ NASA Office of Inspector General (28 June 2016). NASA’s Response to SpaceX’s June 2015 Launch Failure: Impacts on Commercial Resupply of the International Space Station (PDF) (Report). NASA Office of Inspector General. p. 13. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. 31 May 2018. Archived from the original on 1 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b Wall, Mike (4 December 2018). "Moldy Mouse Chow Delays SpaceX Dragon Launch to Space Station".
  13. ^ Sheetz, Michael (5 December 2018). "Watch SpaceX's rocket land in the ocean after spinning off target". CNBC. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  14. ^ Platnick, Steve (May–June 2018). "Editor's Corner" (PDF). The Earth Observer. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. 30 (3): 3.
  15. ^ Richardson, Derek (5 March 2019). "ISS Astronauts Assemble Tools for Robotic Refueling Demo". Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  16. ^ Graham, William (5 December 2018). "Falcon 9 successfully lofts CRS-16 Dragon enroute to ISS – Booster spins out but soft lands in water". Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  17. ^ "SpaceX CRS-16 Mission Overview" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Rodent Research-8". NASA/Space Station Research Explorer. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  19. ^ Bartels, Meghan (28 September 2018). "Thousands of Worms Are Launching Into Space Soon. You Know...for Science". Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  20. ^ Plain, Charlie (19 December 2018). "Crystal Clear: Finding Ways to Protect Crews from the Effects of Space Radiation". NASA. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  21. ^ Nevres, M. Özgür (2 May 2019). "GEDI: NASA's Laser Mission to Measure Trees". Our Planet. Retrieved 12 August 2020.

External links[edit]