Update: SpaceX Dragon's hatch opened a day early


October 10, 2012

The ISS crew looking inside the Dragon capsule (Photo: NASA)

The ISS crew looking inside the Dragon capsule (Photo: NASA)

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The hatch of SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft has been opened by the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) a day early. The opening was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but SpaceX’s twitter feed announced, “At 1:40PM ET, astronauts opened Dragon's hatch, one day ahead of schedule. Success!”

SpaceX's Dragon docked with the International Space Station (Photo: NASA)

SpaceX later issued an image of the crew looking inside the Dragon. They are wearing masks to protect themselves against any contaminants or loose debris that may have been caused by the launch. After inspection, the crew will begin the task of unloading 905 kg (1,995 lbs) of supplies including rations, vehicle hardware, experiments, and an ultra-cold freezer for storing scientific samples.

Dragon will remain docked with the space station until October 28, when it is scheduled return experiments and samples back to Earth. It will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California.

Source: SpaceX

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

Congratulations SpaceX. Put NASA out of the launch business.


it is called private enterprise, USA enterprise slowburn, let NASA do the big things SpaceX is doing the easy stuff, trucking stuff up to a point in Earth orbit now "easy" docking, NASA is busy on MARS where a command arrives 3 minutes to 30 minutes later depending on distance see the difference?

Bill Bennett

re; Bill Bennett

What does mars exploration have to do with putting or not putting NASA out of the launch business?


"In news today. Man opens door."


@Slowburn @Bill Bennett I'm not sure whether that is supposed to be a sarcastic congratulation or not? As Mr.Bennett has reasoned, allowing commercial entities to conduct the space 'freight' missions to the ISS and the like frees NASA up to conduct major missions further afield.

Luke George

You send a cargo shipment to people trapped in a tube and tell them it has ICE CREAM in it and they can't open it until tomorrow ......... rriiiiigggghhtttt.

Congrats Space X !

Carl Farris

re; Luke George

While I don't like the parachute and water landing or throwing half the orbital vehicle away every flight my congratulation to SpaceX are sincere as is my desire that they put NASA out of the rocket building and launch business.


Although not extremely exciting, this is a significant achievement. Once Space-X and companies like it make delivery of people and things into space a commodity, we open the door to space-thinking venture capitalists to go to work. Most of the venture capital endeavors will fail some some will succeed, and some will succeed spectacularly. We are now turning the clock back 500 years. We've got ships and navigation and a whole solar system to start doing business in. I'm sure there will be a lot of great and horrible events coming in all that future "history" but it will put humanity out there permanently. I don't think we will have all the evils that come form the likes of the "East India Corporation" like exploitation of the natives or environmental destruction. Space out there is already dead and there are no natives to exploit so we can do nothing but improve things out here. Way to go Space X!! - One More Step For Mankind!!

Hey!! Did I just see Platinum in that huge space rock??!!

Rustin Haase

@Carl Eddy Farris Too funny!!! ROFL!


@Carl Eddy Farris - Thanks for the laugh. :-) - We may be more technologically advanced than ever, but one should never underestimate the power of ice cream. (Cheese too) :-)

Rustin Haase

Let's make this very clear. NASA has always had private contractors build their rockets. From Rocketdyne , to Northrop Gruman, Boeing, North American Rockwell are just a few of the contractors who built and helped assemble all of the rockets and subsystems for NASA. These new contractors bring a much better system at far lower cost than NASA or its former contractors could. The free enterprise system works if they are given a fair chance. We still need NASA and I am in no way saying they have not done their part. Again NASA has never built anything but has helped assemble many programs. But bloated programs like the shuttle just did not work and were a hinderance and a money pit for NASA. Even the shuttle was built by Rockwell and Boeing.

Bruce Baker

While I don't like the parachute and water landing or throwing half the orbital vehicle away every flight my congratulation to SpaceX are sincere as is my desire that they put NASA out of the rocket building and launch business.

Slowburn 11th October, 2012 @ 07:14 am PDT

SpaceX is working toward full reusability and non-water landings. Video here:

Grady Richardson

re; Grady Richardson

In that animation they did not show the solar power/orbital maneuvering module being recovered but adding them to other spacecraft could be useful as well.

I also think that when you have a useful atmosphere landing on rocket power is foolish especially when you are using kerosine as your fuel which can be easily stored in wing tanks.


They just couldn't wait to get at that ice cream!

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