ISS crew enter the SpaceX Dragon
ISS astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft, last Saturday morning (Photo: NASA)
After making history last Friday by becoming the first private spacecraft to ever reach the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX’s Dragon capsule was successfully boarded by ISS astronauts the following morning. The interior of the craft was reportedly in good condition, and according to astronaut Don Pettit, it smelled like a new car.
Working from the station’s Harmony module, where the Dragon is docked, Pettit opened the capsule’s exterior hatch on Saturday at 5:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time. He and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko then entered the spacecraft for initial inspections, and were joined by European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers and Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. The men initially wore goggles and protective masks, which is a standard precaution taken when opening any craft that has just arrived at the station.
The ISS crew are now in the process of unloading 1,014 pounds (460 kg) of cargo, which was brought to the ISS aboard the Dragon. They will then load it up with approximately the same amount of gear, for it to bring back to Earth when it returns this Thursday.
Sources: SpaceX, NASA
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
What, no comments, this is another giant leap, just like everyone today is a walking talking broadcasting station with their smartphone.
Rather surprised at the lack of comments, this a major event! REALLY! Again as Dawar said this is a giant leap
This is great can't wait for them to start asteroid mining.
This is HUGE! For the first time, a successful practical commercially developed space vehicle was docked with ISS!
Now there's a way for ISS members to get back home that's a bit more divorced from political whim. For that alone, it's a huge win.
The public has a short attention span. Look at Apollo 13 just 3 missions after man 1st LANDED ON THE MOON almost no one tuned in until the immortal words "Huston we have a problem". Four missions latter public support for space travel was all but gone.
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning