Astronauts snare SpaceX Dragon capsule in historic first for private craft
Friday 25 May 2012
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured Space Exploration Technologies' Dragon cargo ship today, the first privately owned vehicle to reach the orbital outpost.
Using the station's 58-foot long (17.7-meter) robotic crane, NASA astronaut Don Pettit snared Dragon at 9:56 a.m. EDT (1356 GMT) as the two spacecraft soared 250 miles (400 km) over northwest Australia at 17,500 mph.
"It looks like we've got us a dragon by the tail," Pettit radioed to NASA Mission Control in Houston.
The capsule, built and operated by Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is the first of two new commercial freighters Nasa will use to fly cargo to the $100 billion outpost following the retirement of the space shuttles last year.
The United States plans to buy commercial flight services for its astronauts as well, breaking Russia's monopoly on flying crews to the station.
Dragon blasted off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Tuesday. It is expected to be attached to a docking port on the station later on Friday.
The capsule is carrying about 1,200 pounds (544 kilograms) of food, water, clothing and supplies for the station crew. It will be repacked with equipment to come back to Earth and depart the station on May 31.
Splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California would occur later that day.
- 1 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 2 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 3 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
- 4 A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A delightful, 11 year old boy who lives in t...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Furniture Installer /...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£58000 - £65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: SQL DBA - Bromley, South East London...