Dragon cargo capsule docks with ISS

Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The SpaceX Dragon cargo ship that launched from Florida Sunday has successfully docked with the International Space Station, NASA said.

A robotic arm on the ISS was used to install the unmanned Dragon cargo ship to its docking port on the Earth-facing side of the station's Harmony node at 9:03 a.m. EDT Wednesday, the space agency reported. The arm captured the commercial cargo ship at 6:56 a.m. as it approached to within about 32 feet of the orbiting complex.

Power and data cables between the ISS and the Dragon capsule will be set up in preparation for the opening of Dragon's hatch just after 6 a.m. EDT Thursday, NASA said.

During the 18 days Dragon is scheduled to be attached to the station, the ISS crew will unload 882 pounds of supplies, science research equipment and hardware from the cargo craft and reload it with 1,673 pounds of cargo for return to Earth.

It will be released from the station Oct. 28 for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, 250 miles off the coast of Southern California.

Dragon was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket at 8:35 p.m. EDT Sunday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Although a Dragon capsule successfully delivered cargo to the ISS in a May test, Wednesday's docking marks the beginning of NASA's privately contracted regular cargo delivery flights to the station, with this mission designated SpaceX CRS-1.

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