Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Supply ship reaches space station after shaky start

CAPE CANAVERAL — A private company made good on its latest shipment to the International Space Station on Sunday, overcoming mechanical difficulty and delivering a ton of supplies with high-flying finesse.

To NASA's relief, the SpaceX company's Dragon capsule pulled up to the orbiting lab with all of its systems in perfect order. Station astronauts used a hefty robot arm to snare the unmanned Dragon, and three hours later, it was bolted into place.

The Dragon's arrival couldn't have been sweeter — and not because of the fresh fruit on board for the six-man station crew. Coming a full day late, the 250-mile-high linkup above Ukraine culminated a two-day chase that got off to a shaky, almost dead-ending start.

Moments after the Dragon reached orbit Friday, a clogged pressure line or stuck valve prevented the timely release of the solar panels and the crucial firing of small maneuvering rockets. SpaceX flight controllers struggled for several hours before gaining control of the capsule and salvaging the mission.

"As they say, it's not where you start, but where you finish that counts, and you guys really finished this one on the mark," space station commander Kevin Ford said after capturing the Dragon.

The Dragon will remain at the space station for most of March before returning to Earth with science samples, empty food containers and old equipment.

SpaceX has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to keep the station well stocked. The contract calls for 12 supply runs; this was the second in that series.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule anchors to the International Space Station on Sunday to deliver more than 1 ton of supplies to the crew. It lifted off from Florida on Friday.

Associated Press

The SpaceX Dragon capsule anchors to the International Space Station on Sunday to deliver more than 1 ton of supplies to the crew. It lifted off from Florida on Friday.

Supply ship reaches space station after shaky start 03/03/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 4, 2013 12:20am]
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.   Jake Faria has pitched 6-1/3 innings and has allowed one run in each of this first three starts.
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  5. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.