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Dragon Docks with Space Station

[Photo credit: SpaceX/NASA]
[Photo credit: SpaceX/NASA]

The Dragon space capsule, launched from Cape Canaveral by the private company SpaceX, is safely attached to the International Space Station.

Dragon was grappled with a robotic arm and secured to the space station on Wednesday morning.

Astronauts will unload nearly 1000 pounds of equipment from the spacecraft and fill it with hardware and scientific experiments from the ISS before it returns to earth on October 28th.

The spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Sunday night and made it into orbit even though one of the nine engines on the Falcon 9 rocket failed and had to be shut down.

The engine failure interfered with the deployment of a secondary payload, a private communications satellite. The orbcomm satellite had to be put into a lower orbit than planned so as not to compromise the safety of the NASA mission.

SpaceX says its still reviewing flight data along with NASA to find out what went wrong.

"We have achieved our goal of repeatedly getting into orbit by creating a careful, methodical and pragmatic approach to the design, testing and launch of our space vehicles," the company said in a statement Wednesday. 

"We will approach our analysis in the same manner, with a careful examination of what went wrong and how to best address it."

The flight to the ISS is the first of 12 resupply missions under a $1.6 billion contract SpaceX has with NASA.


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