Headlines > News > Dragon Arrives With Treasure Trove of Science

Dragon Arrives With Treasure Trove of Science

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sun Mar 3, 2013 4:43 pm via: NASA
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

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.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying a Dragon capsule filled with cargo for the SpaceX 2 mission. Image credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Robert Murray

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying a Dragon capsule filled with cargo for the SpaceX 2 mission. Image credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Robert Murray

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.

Ford and Hadfield will spend much of the remainder of their workday pressurizing the vestibule between Dragon and the station and setting up power and data cables to prepare for the opening of Dragon’s hatch on Monday.

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.

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.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use