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Dragon docking with the Space Station

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Dragon Captured at 5:31 a.m. EST

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 10:34:55 AM GMT

The International Space Station Expedition 34 crew successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule with the station’s robotic arm at 5:31 a.m. EST. Dragon is scheduled to be berthed to space station at approximately 9:40 am EST.

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Station Crew Captures Dragon

The International Space Station Expedition 34 crew successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule with the station’s robotic arm at 5:31 a.m. EST Sunday.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Dragon Berthed to Station

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 02:00:15 PM GMT

The SpaceX Dragon capsule was berthed to the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 8:56 a.m. EST. The hatch between the newly arrived spacecraft and the Harmony module of the space station is scheduled to be opened tomorrow. The capsule is scheduled to spend 22 days attached to the station. For an overview of newly delivered science investigations aboard Dragon, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/research_rides_dragon.html

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Crew Ingresses Dragon

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 06:49:19 PM GMT

Running well ahead of the timeline, Expedition 34 Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn opened the hatch to the SpaceX / Dragon resupply vehicle at 1:14 p.m. EST Sunday, enabling Commander Kevin Ford of NASA and Canadian Space Agency Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield to enter the cargo craft a little more than four hours after Dragon was berthed to the International Space Station following a flawless rendezvous. Ford and Hadfield will begin to unload Dragon’s cargo on Monday morning at the outset of three weeks of operations to remove more than 1200 pounds of supplies and science experiments and hardware from the cargo craft and to load more than a ton of items and experiments in Dragon for its return to Earth later this month.

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Hatch Opened at 1:14 p.m. EST

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 06:56:28 PM GMT

The hatch between the newly arrived SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and the Harmony module of the International Space Station was opened at 1:14 p.m. EST. Dragon delivered about 1,268 pounds (575 kilograms) of supplies to support continuing space station research experiments and will return with about 2,668 pounds (1,210 kilograms) of science samples from human research, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations, and education activities. It is scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California on March 25.

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Dragon Arrives With Treasure Trove of Science

The International Space Station welcomed its second contracted cargo delivery flight Sunday with the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon carrying a treasure trove of science cargo, hardware and supplies for the Expedition 34 crew.

Controlling the 57.7-foot Canadarm2 from a robotics workstation inside the station’s cupola, Commander Kevin Ford, with assistance from Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn, grappled the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft at 5:31 a.m. EST as it flew within about 32 feet of the complex. Flight Engineer Chris Hadfield joined Ford and Marshburn in the cupola to assist with the capture and help coordinate the activities. The station was flying 253 statute miles above northern Ukraine at the time of capture.

› View video of Dragon grapple

Upon successful completion of the grapple, Ford congratulated SpaceX and the ground teams supporting the mission and remarked, “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. You’re aboard, and we’ve got lots of science on there to bring aboard and get done."

With Dragon securely in the grasp of Canadarm2, the robotics officer at Mission Control remotely operated the arm to install the capsule to its port on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module. Once Dragon was in place, Ford monitored the Common Berthing Mechanism operations for first and second stage capture of the cargo ship, assuring that the vehicle was securely attached to the station with a tight seal. Second stage capture was completed at 8:56 a.m.

Running well ahead of the timeline, Marshburn opened the hatch to Dragon at 1:14 p.m., enabling Ford and Hadfield to enter the cargo craft a little more than four hours after Dragon was berthed to the station following a flawless rendezvous. Ford and Hadfield will begin to unload Dragon’s cargo on Monday morning.

Dragon is scheduled to spend more than three weeks attached to the station. During that time, the crew will unload around 1,200 pounds of science cargo, station hardware and crew supplies from the craft and reload it with more than 2,600 pounds of experiment samples and equipment for return to Earth.

› Read about research payloads aboard Dragon

› View Dragon cargo manifest

After Dragon’s mission at the station is completed, the crew will use Canadarm2 to detach Dragon from Harmony on March 25 and release it for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean about 300 miles west of the coast of Baja California.

Dragon launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 10:10 a.m. Friday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, beginning the second of 12 SpaceX flights contracted by NASA to resupply the station. This marks the third visit by a Dragon capsule to the orbiting laboratory, following a demonstration flight in May 2012 and its first commercial resupply mission in October 2012.

Dragon’s rendezvous with the station was delayed a day in the wake of a temporary loss of three of four banks of thrusters after Dragon separated from the Falcon 9 rocket Friday.

› Read more about SpaceX 2

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Posted (edited)

Great to hear that all eventually went well. :clap:

I'm sure those supplies, both for the astronauts and continuing scientific experiments are a welcome site.

I further assume that the return voyage of the Dragon capsule contains prior scientific results as well as "garbage" from the ISS.

Edited by pallidin

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I further assume that the return voyage of the Dragon capsule contains prior scientific results as well as "garbage" from the ISS.

Not garbage, that is generally loaded into a Russian Progress or European ATV. They burn up in the atmosphere. Space on board the return capsule is at far too much of a premium to fill it with anything that isn't useful.

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Dragon Grapple and Berthing to Station

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is grappled by the International Space Station's robotic arm and berthed to the Harmony module on Sunday, March 3, 2013.

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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