History in space: SpaceX Dragon arrives at ISS - New York News

History in space: SpaceX Dragon arrives at ISS

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CAPE CANAVERAL (NEWSCORE) -

The first private spacecraft to supply the International Space Station (ISS) was captured by a robotic arm extending from the ISS on Friday, NASA said.

"SpaceX Drago capsule captured by International Space Station!" NASA confirmed on its Twitter account.

"Houston, looks like we have Dragon by the tail," said US astronaut Don Pettit, who was operating the robotic arm from the space station.

The capsule's "grappling" with the ISS occurred at 9:56 a.m. The step will be followed by the docking operation, to attach the capsule to the station.

Earlier Friday, the SpaceX Dragon received the go-ahead from NASA to proceed to the holding point in preparation for grappling.

On Thursday, the capsule performed a successful fly-under of the ISS in preparation for the docking.

The capsule flew under the ISS at a distance of 1.5 miles and in-orbit tests were performed in an attempt to ensure a safe rendezvous Friday.

In addition to Thursday's successful maneuvers, the spacecraft also reached several milestones on Tuesday and Wednesday while firing its thrusters to catch up to the space station.

The spacecraft is transporting about 1,000 pounds of cargo to the ISS including food, water and clothing for the astronauts.

If the SpaceX mission proves a success, it will begin to fulfill a 2008 contract with NASA for a minimum of 12 flights carrying supplies to and from the ISS. It also was designed to carry astronauts in the future.

Once the mission is complete, the Dragon capsule will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and land in the Pacific Ocean some 250 miles off the US West Coast, where it will be recovered.

The landmark flight has not been without its problems. The spacecraft had been due to blast off atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket Saturday, but was grounded after a faulty part was discovered.

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