SpaceX Dragon, world's first private spacecraft, has been captured by the International Space Station's robotic arm, and has grappled the Dragon spacecraft to the Harmony module on the space station.
Quoting astronaut Don Pettit who operated the robotic arm: “Looks like we’ve got a Dragon by the tail.”
Pettit's successful capture of the Dragon cause SpaceX Hawthorne headquarters and NASA's Houston Mission Control to errupt in cheers.
It was not a smooth approach according to the article in Wired.com (see link below in Ref Section). Problem with Dragon's thermal camera kept the spacecraft holding at the 250 meter point away from the ISS. Then there was the interaction between the thermal camera and the on-board LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors.
Several times, SpaceX approached the ISS only to issue a retreat due to the sensor information they were getting. Basically getting stray LIDAR signals coming off of the Japanese Kibo laboratory module on the station. Future correction for this problem would be to put on "blinders" to limit the Dragon's LIDAR so it could only see "straight ahead."
Eventually, Dragon was finally brought in to the 30 meter point and then the 10 meter point where it could be caputured by the station's robotic arm.
Now the ISS crew will be unloading the 1,014 pounds(460 kilogram) cargo from the capsule and the station in turn will load up nearly 1,367 pounds (620 kilograms) of return to earth cargo.
Dragon is expected to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on May 31st if all goes to plan.
1. Wired. "ISS Welcomes SpaceX Dragon — First Private Spacecraft at Station" by Jason Paur. May 25, 2012. ( http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/05/spacex-docking/ ). images from same article.
I have been a life long fanatic for aviation and space related subjects since my parents took me out to a airshow when I was four or five years old.
Solo in a Cessna 150/152 in college, but never was able to get my Private Pilot's license. Love to fly whenever I get a chance to. Until recently, I was into radio control model airplanes. Had to sell them off due to current fincial times.
As for UFOS, I have seen them since the 7th grade. But I haven't witness any more since I turned 30 something - or paid attention enough to see them I should say.
After the Death of Barney Hill, Betty was returning home one night from visiting his grave and she looked up into the night time sky to see a light getting bigger and bigger.
For more details, please read the excellant book CAPTURED! by Stanton T. Friedman, MSc., and Kathleen Marden. This particular encounter one must read directly.
As for the drawing itself, it is done in pencil in a regualr size 8 x 11 size sketchbook. I have been meeaning to post this for months now and finally got around to scanning it and uploading it to the blog on May 29, 2009.