The SpaceX Dragon has been captured by the International Space Station en route to completing the first resupply mission ever by a private company. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, along with JAXA colleague Akihiko Hoshide, captured the capsule using a robotic arm at 6:56AM ET. The duo are currently guiding the capsule into a dock. Dragon is delivering 822 pounds of supplies to the laboratory onboard the ISS, including crew supplementaries, scientific research, and hardware. Then, 18 days later, the capsule will be returned to Earth with 1,673 pounds worth of supplies.
Capture is confirmed! "Looks like we've tamed the #Dragon" @astro_suni spacex.com/webcast— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 10, 2012
The cargo was launched successfully on Monday, but a secondary payload sent up with the Dragon encountered its own problem. One of the engines on the Falcon 9 shutdown with a dramatic explosion 90 seconds after first igniting, causing the other eight engines to fire for an additional period of time in order to compensate. As a result, the OG2 prototype satellite was "deployed into an orbit that was lower than intended." Engineers are working out the best course of action for the OG2, but luckily it didn’t affect the capsule headed to the ISS. The crew will be docking the Dragon shortly, so make sure to watch in the embedded video below.
Update: Dragon successfully docked with the Harmony node at 9:03AM ET.
RT @nasa: The @spacex #Dragon was secured to the #ISS at 9:03amET. Hatch opening tomorrow. Dragon will spend 18 days attached— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 10, 2012