SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo ship on Wednesday, arrived at the International Space Station, carrying nearly 2.5 tons of gear and supplies for the astronauts living in orbit, NASA said.
US space agency astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins reached out and grabbed the spacecraft, using the space station’s 57.7-foot (17.5 meter) long robotic arm known as the Canadarm2, at 6:56 AM (local time).
“We have confirmed capture,” a NASA commentator said.
- Supplies headed to space station after Virginia launch
- SpaceX's Elon Musk wants to take people from New York to Shanghai in a space rocket
- SpaceX reveals plan for manned journey to Mars
- Elon Musk shrinks SpaceX Mars rocket to cut costs
- Elon Musk reveals SpaceX's sleek, white spacesuit for astronauts
- SpaceX launches experiments, ice cream to International Space Station
The Dragon was brought in closer and bolted on to the station about three hours later, at 10:03 am (local time) while the orbiting lab was flying about 250 miles (400 kilometers) over the California and Oregon border, NASA said.
The key piece of equipment on board is the first of two international docking adapters, which will allow commercial crew spacecraft to latch onto the research outpost in the coming years.
The first such docking adapter was destroyed in June last year when the SpaceX rocket exploded about two minutes after launch.
The current supply trip is the ninth for SpaceX under a USD 1.6 billion NASA contract to ferry science experiments, food, machinery and other gear to space.
The Dragon spaceship was launched on Monday from Cape Canaveral, Florida atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
Astronauts plan to open the hatch to the cargo ship and begin unpacking on Friday.