SpaceX Dragon Makes Easter Delivery at International Space Station

October 14, 2014 – 10:43 am
The SpaceX-3 Dragon cargo ship is seen attached to the International Space Station on April 20, 2014 for an Easter Sunday cargo delivery of 2.5 tons of food, supplies and gear for the orbiting lab's six-person Expedition 39 crew.A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is captured by astronauts using the robotic arm on the International Space Station in this close-up camera view from the outpost on April 20, 2014. The Dragon capsule delivered nearly 5, 000 lbs. of supplies to the space station crew, the third such SpaceX flight for NASA.
Credit: NASA TV

Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said Friday that he wasn't sure if those supplies included any chocolate eggs, jelly beans or other Easter goodies for the station crew.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is captured by astronauts using the robotic arm on the International Space Station in this close-up camera view from the outpost on April 20, 2014. The Dragon capsule delivered nearly 5,000 lbs. of supplies to the space station"It'll be a surprise for all of us when they open the hatch, " Gerstenmaier said. That hatch opening is slated to occur on Monday.

SpaceX's latest Dragon cargo ship was captured by space station commander Koichi Wakata, of Japan, and NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who watched over the spacecraft's approach to the station from the orbiting lab's Cupola observation deck. The spacecraft will return to Earth in May to return science experiments and other gear to NASA scientists.

"Congratulations to the entire team for the successful rendezvous and capture, " Wakata said. "The vehicle and spacecraft was very solid and very stable."

A SpaceX-built Dragon cargo ship floats near the end of the International Space Station's robotic arm, with the Earth as a backdrop, in this view from a station camera captured on April 20, 2014. The Dragon cargo ship delivered nearly 5, 000 lbs. of supplies to the space station.
Credit: NASA TV

A SpaceX-built Dragon cargo ship floats near the end of the International Space Station's robotic arm, with the Earth as a backdrop, in this view from a station camera captured on April 20, 2014. The Dragon cargo ship delivered nearly 5,000 lbs. of suppliThe arrival of SpaceX's Dragon occurred nearly a month late. SpaceX initially aimed to launch the cargo ship in mid-March but delayed the flight first to allow final checks, then due to a damaged Air Force ground radar used to support Cape Canaveral rocket launches.

SpaceX is one of two companies with NASA contracts for robotic cargo missions to the space station. The other firm is Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va., which has a $1.9 billion deal for eight delivery flights using its own Cygnus spacecraft and Antares rockets. The first official Cygnus delivery to the station launched in January.

Dragon's Easter Sunday arrival sets the stage for a spacewalk later this week on Wednesday (April 23) to replace a broken backup computer on the station's exterior. The computer, called a Multiplexer-Demultiplexer...


Source: www.space.com

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