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Dragon docks with ISS a day late


March 3, 2013

Dragon CRS-2 berthed at the ISS (Image: NASA)

Dragon CRS-2 berthed at the ISS (Image: NASA)

Image Gallery (3 images)

Today at 8:56 AM EST (13:56 GMT), the Spacex Dragon CRS-2 mission berthed with the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned cargo ship was captured using the station’s robotic arm at 5:31 AM EST (10:31 GMT) by ISS Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and Tom Mashburn of NASA before being secured to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony module.

The docking took place two days after the launch of the CRS-2 mission, when shortly after entering orbit the Dragon capsule suffered a malfunction in three of its four attitude control thruster pods. Though the fault was traced to a blockage or stuck valve in the oxidizer system and quickly rectified, it meant that the scheduled Saturday rendezvous with the ISS had to be postponed while checks were carried out.

The CRS-2 mission is the third visit by a Dragon spacecraft to the ISS and the second commercial cargo run. The reusable craft delivered about 2,300 pounds (1,043 kg) of food and other items including 1,268 pounds (575 kg) of experiment supplies. It will remain berthed with the ISS until the capsule returns on March 25 carrying 2,668 pounds (1,210 kg) of science samples for a splashdown off the coast of Baja, California.

The NASA video below shows the Dragon CRS-2 mission being captured by the ISS crew.

Sources: SpaceX, NASA

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

The important point is that Space X fixed the thruster issue remotely, impressive IMHO.

Bill Bennett

I wouldn't say they "fixed" the valves. They pressure cycled them until they freed up. To fix a valve (to me) implies you isolated the circuit, removed the part, dismantled it, found out why it is sticking, cleaned off the bur or lubricated the seal, put it back together, tested it, re-installed, etc. It's like if my car is hard to start, and I just keep cranking it until it fires up, that doesn't mean it's been fixed. That isn't impressive in the slightest!


they should ask buzz how to connect to the ISS quickly

“There was no lime to sightsee. I was concentrating on the computers, and Neil was studying the attitude indicator, but I looked up long enough to see the flag fall over . . . Three hours and ten minutes later we were connected once again with the Columbia.” science . ksc . nasa . gov/history/apollo/apollo-11/apollo-11 . html

today it still takes at least a day or days from launch to connection to the ISS, but apparently apollo could do it in 3 hours,

tampa florida

they are still doing better than most airlines and i don't even want to think how many operational schedules NASA has missed entirely in its life time id fly on dragon anytime well done boys


Still a positive move forward regardless of Grumpy, I mean Grunchy's comments. Hard not to be impressed by a private company's ability to deliver.

Karl L
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