Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Resupply capsule makes connection with space station

CAPE CANAVERAL — Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via a Dragon, not a bunny.

"Gentlemen, the Easter Dragon is knocking at the door," NASA's Mission Control said as the capsule was bolted into place.

The SpaceX company's cargo ship, Dragon, spent two days chasing the International Space Station following its launch from Cape Canaveral. Astronauts used a robot arm to capture the capsule 260 miles above Egypt.

More than 2 tons of food, spacewalking gear and experiments fill the Dragon, including mating fruit flies, a little veggie hothouse and legs for the resident robot. NASA also packed family care packages for the six spacemen.

On Wednesday, the stakes will be even higher when the two Americans onboard conduct a spacewalk to replace a dead computer. NASA wants a reliable backup in place as soon as possible, even though the primary computer is working fine. The backup failed April 11.

The SpaceX delivery wasn't exactly express. The launch was delayed more than a month. A minor communication problem cropped up during Sunday's rendezvous, but the capture still took place on time and with success.

SpaceX flight controllers, at company headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., exchanged high-fives, shook hands, applauded and embraced once Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata snared the Dragon with the station's hefty robot arm.

"Great work catching the Dragon," NASA's Mission Control radioed from Houston. "Thanks for getting her onboard."

The capsule was solid and stable for grabbing, Wakata reported, making the job easy. He congratulated the SpaceX team and added, "We're excited."

A few hours later, the Dragon was secured to the space station. The capsule will remain attached until mid May. It will be filled with science samples — including the flies — for return to Earth.

NASA is paying SpaceX as well as Virginia's Orbital Sciences Corp. to regularly stock the orbiting lab. These commercial shipments stemmed from the 2011 retirement of the space shuttles. This was the fourth station delivery for SpaceX.

The SpaceX Dragon begins the process Sunday of being connected to the International Space Station. Among other items, more than 2 tons of food were carried by the Dragon.

NASA

The SpaceX Dragon begins the process Sunday of being connected to the International Space Station. Among other items, more than 2 tons of food were carried by the Dragon.

Resupply capsule makes connection with space station 04/20/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 21, 2014 12:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102