'Dragon back' as cargo reaches space station

December 17, 2017
SpaceX capsule back at space station with pre-Christmas haul
In this image taken from NASA Television, the robotic arm reaches out and captures the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft for docking to the International Space Station, Sunday Dec. 17, 2017. SpaceX launched the Dragon from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Friday, using a previously flown Falcon rocket. It was the first time SpaceX had flown a recycled rocket with a recycled capsule on top. (NASA via AP)

SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship docked on Sunday with the International Space Station, bringing supplies and experiments for the astronauts in orbit.

"Dragon installed," a NASA commentator said at 1326 GMT after the delicate, hours-long process of sealing 16 bolts joining the two craft was complete.

At that moment, they were flying 250 miles above the North Atlantic.

Earlier, as the Dragon arrived, the space station's robotic arm, operated by one of its astronauts, attached itself to the as they were over Australia and Papua New Guinea.

"It's a great day to see Dragon back at ISS again," said another NASA commentator.

The recycled spaceship blasted off on Friday carrying 4,800 pounds (2,200 kilograms) of food, supplies and experiments—including one to study thyroid cancer and another to grow barley in space.

It was the first time SpaceX launched both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before.

Three minutes after launch the booster and second stage of the rocket separated.

The second stage continued to propel the Dragon toward the International Space Station, while the landed upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The California-based SpaceX company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk aims to lower the cost of spaceflight by reusing costly rocket components.

It was the 14th recovery of a booster for SpaceX this year.

The Dragon cargo ship previously flew to the ISS in 2015.

NASA is SpaceX's most important customer, and this mission is SpaceX's 13th of 20 under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

The docking came as a three-man space crew featuring American and Japanese rookie astronauts as well as an experienced Russian cosmonaut blasted off from Kazakhstan on Sunday for a six-month mission at the International Space Station.

Explore further: In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship (Update)

Related Stories

SpaceX to launch first 'recycled' cargo ship

June 1, 2017

SpaceX on Thursday will attempt its first-ever cargo delivery to the astronauts living in orbit using a vessel that has already flown to space once before, the California-based company said.

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Thorium Boy
1 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2017
U.,S. is talking about going back to the Moon, then to Mars, they have nothing but the blueprints for a 50 year old rocket that once went to the Moon. They can't even go the ISS, having to beg the Russians to fly them. What a disgrace.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.