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Friday, May 25, 2012

SpaceX Capsule Docks With Space Station

This image provided by NASA-TV shows the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft, top, after Dragon was grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm and connected to the International Space Station on Friday. (AP/NASA)

This image provided by NASA-TV shows the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft, top, after Dragon was grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm and connected to the International Space Station on Friday. (AP/NASA)

By the Associated Press

Space station astronauts have captured the Dragon.The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Friday, making history as the first commercial delivery truck in orbit.

Astronauts Donald Pettit and Andre Kuipers used the space station’s robot arm to snare the Dragon after a few hours of extra maneuvering.

NASA is handing over routine orbital flights to private business so it can concentrate on grander destinations like asteroids and Mars. The California-based SpaceX company is leading the charge under billionaire Elon Musk, who helped create PayPal.

Dragon will remain at the space station for nearly a week. It will be freed next Thursday to return to Earth with a load of experiments.

Guest:

  • Pat Duggins, Alabama Public Radio news director and author of “Trailblazing Mars” and “Final Countdown
  • Meet Pat Duggins at a book signing on July 21 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum

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