Science

ISS crew enter the SpaceX Dragon

ISS crew enter the SpaceX Drag...
ISS astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft, last Saturday morning (Photo: NASA)
ISS astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft, last Saturday morning (Photo: NASA)
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Astronaut Don Pettit, opening the Dragon's hatch (Photo: NASA)
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Astronaut Don Pettit, opening the Dragon's hatch (Photo: NASA)
ISS astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft, last Saturday morning (Photo: NASA)
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ISS astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft, last Saturday morning (Photo: NASA)
The Dragon's hatch, prior to opening (Photo: NASA)
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The Dragon's hatch, prior to opening (Photo: NASA)
Astronaut Don Pettit opens the Dragon's hatch (Photo: NASA)
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Astronaut Don Pettit opens the Dragon's hatch (Photo: NASA)

After making history last Friday by becoming the first private spacecraft to ever reach the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX’s Dragon capsule was successfully boarded by ISS astronauts the following morning. The interior of the craft was reportedly in good condition, and according to astronaut Don Pettit, it smelled like a new car.

Working from the station’s Harmony module, where the Dragon is docked, Pettit opened the capsule’s exterior hatch on Saturday at 5:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time. He and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko then entered the spacecraft for initial inspections, and were joined by European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers and Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. The men initially wore goggles and protective masks, which is a standard precaution taken when opening any craft that has just arrived at the station.

The ISS crew are now in the process of unloading 1,014 pounds (460 kg) of cargo, which was brought to the ISS aboard the Dragon. They will then load it up with approximately the same amount of gear, for it to bring back to Earth when it returns this Thursday.

Sources: SpaceX, NASA

5 comments
Dawar Saify
What, no comments, this is another giant leap, just like everyone today is a walking talking broadcasting station with their smartphone.
Bill Bennett
Rather surprised at the lack of comments, this a major event! REALLY! Again as Dawar said this is a giant leap
Aaron Baker
This is great can't wait for them to start asteroid mining.
sk8dad
This is HUGE! For the first time, a successful practical commercially developed space vehicle was docked with ISS! Now there's a way for ISS members to get back home that's a bit more divorced from political whim. For that alone, it's a huge win.
Smitty Jl
The public has a short attention span. Look at Apollo 13 just 3 missions after man 1st LANDED ON THE MOON almost no one tuned in until the immortal words "Huston we have a problem". Four missions latter public support for space travel was all but gone.