The astronauts of International Space Station were finally able to trace the space capsule of SpaceX that was carrying 5,500 pounds of cargo. The discovery took place on early Thursday and it has come as big relief for NASA and SpaceX, who have been witnessing delays in the mission at important junctures.
NASA TV confirmed the capture of Dragon craft on early Thursday, NPR claimed. The discovery was made with the help of a robotic arm by the astronauts at the International Space Station. It captured the space capsule bearing 5,500 pounds of cargo at 5:44 a.m. ET. This happened when the SpaceX and space station capsule flew in orbit at a distance of 250 miles away from the northwest coast of Australia.
The capture is definitely a big success for NASA and SpaceX who have seen their mission experience glitches at crucial moments. According to NASA timetable that was released last week, the space agency had planned the Dragon craft to reach the space station three days before. Saturday saw the launch of the craft get aborted because of a problem in its steering system. The mishap happened just seconds ahead of rocket ignition.
However, the act of the actual launch went about smoothly after one day only to experience some other glitch. On Wednesday, when the Dragon craft was less than one mile away from its space station dock, its computer automatically stopped the move. There was an error in the GPS software and it led to the Thursday meeting. Interestingly, this is just one day before a Russian resupply rocket arrives.
NASA has said that the crew of the International Space Station will take about one month to unload the space craft. Also, in late March, it will dive down in the Pacific Ocean on the Baja California coast. As for the mission, the Dragon craft will launch many science investigations and it includes research on cancer as well as the challenges the astronauts face during long spaceflights.