SpaceX capsule reaches ISS

2013-03-03 15:46
The SpaceX Dragon capsule on the end of the International Space Station's robotic arm. (AP/Nasa TV)

The SpaceX Dragon capsule on the end of the International Space Station's robotic arm. (AP/Nasa TV)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Cape  Canaveral - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station used a robotic arm to pluck a SpaceX cargo capsule from orbit on Sunday and prepared to haul it aboard.

The Dragon capsule, loaded with more than 1 043kg of science equipment, spare parts, food and supplies, blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX is the first private company to make supply runs to the station for Nasa and this is its second such mission.

The cargo ship was due to arrive at the station on Saturday, but a problem with its thruster rocket pods developed soon after reaching orbit. Engineers sent commands for Dragon to flip valves and clear any blockage in a pressurization line in an attempt to salvage the mission.

By Friday evening, Dragon had fired its thruster rockets to raise its altitude and begin steering itself to rendezvous with the $100bn space station, which flies about 400km above Earth.

The orbital ballet ended at 05:31 EST/10:31 GMT, when station commander Kevin Ford, working from a robotics station inside the outpost, grappled the capsule with the station's crane as the ships sailed over northern Ukraine.

"As they say, it's not where you start but where you finish that counts. You guys really finished this one on the mark," Ford radioed to Dragon's flight control team in Hawthorne, California, and Nasa's Mission Control in Houston.

"What a fantastic day," Ford said.

The capsule will be anchored to a docking port on the station's Harmony connecting node so astronauts can unload its cargo and then refill it with equipment, trash and science samples to take back to Earth on a trip scheduled for 25 March.

Dragon's flight is the second of 12 missions for privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, under a $1.6bn Nasa contract. Following a successful test flight to the space station in May 2012, SpaceX conducted its first supply run to the orbital outpost in October.

A second firm, Orbital Sciences is due début its freighter this year.

Nasa turned to private companies for delivering supplies to the station following the retirement of its space shuttles in 2011. The agency hopes to buy rides commercially for its astronauts as well beginning in 2017.

Read more on:    iss  |  spacex  |  us  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.