CRS-11 Payloads installation

This is Part 2 of the Dragon CRS-11 mission. On my previous post, I covered the arrival of Dragon CRS-11 to the ISS.

The Unpressurized Cargo for the CRS-11 mission consists of 3 payloads:

  • ROSA (Roll Out Solar Array)
  • NICER (Neutron-star Interior Composition ExploreR)
  • MUSES(Multi-User System for Earth Sensing)


Location of the Express Logistic Carriers Platforms 2 and 4 where the payloads will be attached.

At 1:100 scale, these models are very small. Here they are.


MUSES was the first payload to be pulled out of Dragon’s trunk. It is an articulated platform that can hold four Earth pointed instruments. It was installed on June 6 through June 10 on ELC-4.

Dextre is shown pulling out the MUSES payload from the trunk (FRAM 1).

DEXTRE positioned the MUSES payload on its Enhanced ORU Temporary Platform (EOTP)

ELC -4 with the site where the MUSES will be attached.

MUSES installed by DEXTRE.

The MUSES paper model uses a real magnet so other observatories can be attached to its platform. The instruction manual explains the assembly process and the use of a magnet on this payload.


NICER was the second payload extracted from the trunk. The Neutron-Star Interior Composition ExploreR, is an X-ray observatory that will collect precise spectral and timing data on ultra-dense Neutron Stars to reveal their internal composition.

DEXTRE is shown extracting the NICER payload.

NICER payload temporarily attached to DEXTRE’s EOTP during translation towards ELC-2.

ELC-2 showing the site for NICER.

NICER is attached to ELC-2

NICER was installed on June 14 and was deployed on June 16.
The paper model for NICER was very challenging because as the real one, it has a small arm that moves the large Optical bench.
The following photos show the range of motion of the paper model small arm.


The last item extracted from the trunk was the ROSA payload (Roll Out Solar Array). This is a technology demonstration of a new type of deployable solar array that could be the answer for the power-hungry satellites of the future.

ROSA is being extracted from the trunk.

Dragon’s empty payload trunk

ROSA was unrolled on June 18 for a weeklong checkout using DEXTRE, which grabbed the ROSA payload with one of its arms.

On June 26, when ROSA failed to lock back in its retracted position, the deployed array was jettisoned from its attachment mechanism to undergo a natural orbital decay.

The active FRAM was placed back on the Dragon’s trunk and it will be disposed during re-entry.

Next: Dragon’s departure

Download file:

CRS-11 Payloads



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