On Tuesday we learned that Space Exploration Technologies successfully launched the first privately owned rocket into space. The SpaceX mission is to launch the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket into space so that Space Capsule Dragon could be delivered to the International Space Station currently orbiting Earth. So far, the mission has been a rousing success. Space Capsule Dragon successfully “landed” at the ISS and just completed docking. History, folks, was made again today. Click below to see photos and videos of this latest stage of the SpaceX mission.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule has just been successfully “captured” by the International Space Station. This marks the first time a commercial craft has ever landed at the ISS, as well as a huge step forward for private space flight … the capsule was grappled to the Station by a robotic arm … It has been a little over three days since the Dragon was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch was delayed several times but finally occurred on the morning of May 22nd. After that, the Dragon’s flight progressed smoothly, and it was cleared to approach the ISS. Over the next several hours, it adjusted its course to the Station, stopping frequently to ensure that acceleration and braking were performing reliably before coming in range of the Station … The capsule has now successfully docked at the ISS and is awaiting opening.
You can click HERE to watch the much longer, extended video of the Dragon capture and docking. Altho this SpaceX mission hasn’t really gotten the level of attention that the NASA space launches of the 1980s did, I think this is still a very significant event. I remember as a kid in school watching on TV space shuttles being launched into space (I even remember watching the tragic Challenger explosion live as it happened). I wonder if kids these days get to experience the same. It’s very exciting for me to see how this SpaceX mission has unfolded. We are watching the birth of future space exploration right now. SpaceX is a company to watch. I can’t wait to see the next phase of this mission.