Dragon Capsule Makes History Docking With Space Station
History was made above us in space early this morning, May 25.
The first non-governmental space vehicle, the SpaceX Dragon capsule, completed berthing with the International Space Station just after 10 a.m. (MDT).
Dragon’s hatch is scheduled to be opened early Saturday morning, May 26. The station’s six astronauts will unload about 1,000 pounds of cargo, including food, clothes, batteries and a laptop, plus 15 student-designed experiments.
Then about 1,455 pounds of Earth-bound cargo, including personal items from the crew as well as completed experiments and old equipment, will be loaded up on the Dragon.
These payloads don’t come anywhere close to the Dragon’s capacity (6 tons going up, 3 tons coming down), but they were made part of the mission as non-essential ride-alongs.
On May 31, the capsule will be detached from the station and sent back down toward a Pacific Ocean splashdown and recovery off the coast of Southern California.