May 25, 2012
SpaceX Dragon Module Successfully Berths To Space Station
|SpaceX, owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk, has now reached the climax of its test mission to become the first privately owned craft to reach the space station, restoring U.S. access to the space outpost.|
The California-based SpaceX, owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk, has now reached the climax of its test mission to become the first privately owned craft to reach the space station, restoring U.S. access to the space outpost.
With no humans on board, the capsule is delivering about a half ton of supplies and science experiments for the ISS, and aims to return a slightly larger load of gear to Earth on May 31.
"It looks like we got us a Dragon by the tail"
“It looks like we got us a Dragon by the tail,” said U.S. astronaut Don Pettit, who was operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm from the space station as it reached out and hooked on to the unmanned SpaceX capsule at 9:56 am.
The two spacecraft were traveling about 250 miles (402 kilometers) above northwest Australia at the time of the grab, NASA said.
“Dragon captured by the International Space Station! Just awesome,” wrote SpaceX chief executive Musk on Twitter.
“Everything has gone very smoothly,” said a NASA commentator, adding that the six member ISS crew would soon start working on equalizing pressure between the two spacecraft.
The hatches are set to open on Saturday so that the unloading of the Dragon’s more than half ton of cargo can begin.
A press conference is scheduled for 1 pm to discuss more details on the mission.
The demonstration flight has been near flawless, according to progress reports from NASA and SpaceX, after the launch marked what NASA, the White House and SpaceX officials described as a historic “new era” in space flight.
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Tags: Canadarm2, Canadian Space Agency, dragon, Elon Musk, ISS, NASA, space, space exploration, SpaceX
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