SpaceX cargo ship reaches International Space Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (REUTERS) - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) plucked a commercial cargo ship from orbit on Wednesday, a key manoeuvre in the first United States (US) supply run to the orbital outpost since the retirement of the cargo-hauling space shuttles last year.
After a 2 1/2 day trip, Space Exploration Technologies'Dragon cargo ship positioned itself 10m away from the US$100 billion (S$123 billion) research complex, a project of 15 countries, which has been dependent on Russian, European and Japanese freighters for supplies.
Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide then used the space station's 17.7m long robotic arm to grab hold of a grapple fixture on the side of the capsule at 1056 GMT (4.56pm Singapore time) as the spacecraft flew 402km above the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California in north-west Mexico.
"Looks like we tamed the Dragon," commander Sunita Williams radioed to Mission Control in Houston.