Dragon cargo capsule docks with International Space Station
POSTED: Friday, May 25, 2012 - 6:15pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 25, 2012 - 6:19pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — History was made in space Friday morning.
For the first time a privately-owned spacecraft has docked with the International Space Station.
The "Dragon" space capsule built by California-based SpaceX corporation was captured by crewmembers on-board the ISS.
As the capsule traveled through space at more than 17,000 miles-per-hour teams at SpaceX headquarters in California delicately maneuvered Dragon to just 33-feet from the station.
It wasn't without difficulties.
Just minutes before the first attempt Dragon was forced to retreat and reposition.
With that maneuver completed, Dragon was finally brought into range for the station's robotic arm to grab it, ushering in NASA's new post-shuttle era and bringing relief and pride to the SpaceX crew back on Earth.
On Tuesday, SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket lifted Dragon off from Cape Canaveral on the first private mission to carry cargo to the space station.
The current SpaceX mission is being considered a test flight of NASA's plan to outsource cargo and even astronaut trips to the ISS now that the space shuttle fleet has been retired.