Science and Exploration

SpaceX Dragon Docks with the International Space Station

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
March 3, 2013
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SpaceX Dragon Docks with the International Space Station

Two days after its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, March 3, where it was captured by Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford of NASA and NASA Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn using the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.
Dragon was grappled at 5:31 a.m. EST as the unpiloted resupply vehicle and the station flew 253 miles over Ukraine.

Ground controllers at Mission Control, Houston, took over at that point, maneuvering Canadarm2 to carefully install the Dragon onto the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module, where it was bolted in place.

Dragon’s hatch will be opened Monday, March 4, to enable Ford, Marshburn and Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency to begin unloading some 1,268 pounds (575kg) of scientific investigations and supplies for the crew, which will support continuing space station research.

Dragon will remain berthed to the station until March 25, when it will depart for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean to return about 2,668 pounds (1219kg) of science samples from human research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations, and education activities

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