The Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) this morning. The docking represents another as-planned step in what is NASA's first privatized cargo and resupply mission under its Commercial Resupply Services contract, after the launch of the spacecraft went perfectly on Sunday.
Hours before docking, the Dragon was captured by the Canadian-made, 17.6-meter robotic arm of the space station and maneuvered into position for berthing. "Looks like we've tamed the Dragon," said Suni Williams, ISS Expedition 33 commander.
The official NASA Twitter account announced the Dragon was guided onto the Earth-facing side of the ISS's Harmony module this morning, stating that the docking took place at exactly 9:03 am EDT:
The event was livestreamed on the SpaceX CRS-1 Mission livestream page.
The Dragon capsule will now be bolted into place for its 18-day stay aboard the ISS. Tomorrow the crew will pressurize the vestibule between the ISS and Dragon, then open the hatch and proceed with the mission.
Over the next two and a half weeks the crew will unload the 882 pounds of supplies the Dragon is carrying, which includes 390 pounds of scientific research materials. For the trip back, the capsule will be loaded down with 1,673 pounds of used scientific research materials, vehicle hardware, and crew supplies.