SpaceX Dragon successfully grappled by ISS
By Ben Coxworth
May 25, 2012
Well, it’s official. Just moments ago, the SpaceX Dragon became the first-ever privately-made spacecraft to reach the International Space Station (ISS). “The International Space Station Expedition 31 crew successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule with the station's robotic arm at 9:56 AM EDT,” NASA has stated. “The feat came 3 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 23 seconds after the mission's launch. The station was 251 miles over northwest Australia when capture occurred.”
In an estimated three hours, the Dragon should hopefully be docked to the ISS. This will be followed by the opening of its exterior hatch, which could be taking place as early as tomorrow morning. Once this is achieved, the ISS astronauts will be able to enter the spacecraft from within the station to remove its 1,014 pounds (460 kg) of cargo, test the air quality within it, and perform other duties.
UPDATE: The Dragon was successfully installed on the bottom of the station's Harmony node at 11:52 AM EDT, and securely bolted into place by 12:02 PM.