CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSMiami/AP) – A SpaceX Dragon capsule loaded with nearly six tons of equipment and experiments has arrived at the International Space Station following a weekend launch.
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques used the station’s big robot arm — also made in Canada — to capture the Dragon approximately 250 miles above the North Atlantic Ocean. An external cable that normally comes off during launch dangled from the capsule, but it did not interfere with the grappling.
“Welcome on board, Dragon,” Saint-Jacques radioed. Speaking in both English and French, he congratulated ground teams for their help and said he’s proud every time the station’s 58-foot Canadian robot arm is used in orbit.
“Well done, well captured. Way to make it look easy,” Mission Control said.
SpaceX launched the capsule Saturday from Cape Canaveral. It’s the second station visit for this recycled Dragon. It also flew in 2017.
This is SpaceX’s 17th delivery to the space station; the first was in 2012. Northrop Grumman is NASA’s other shipper; its Cygnus cargo ship arrived just two weeks ago.
The Dragon will remain about a month, being filled with science samples for return to Earth. It’s the only cargo ship capable of coming back intact.
Besides one Canadian, the space station is home to three Americans and two Russians.