The U.S. space program has been completely modified now that SpaceX capsule docked at its space station on Friday. Based on a recent report published by Reuters, the Dragon was captured by the astronauts inside the International Space Station and guided towards the docking berth.
Friday was one of the biggest days for NASA as scientists managed to send the first commercial spaceship and guide it towards an orbital outpost. This achievement could have significant consequences on space travel as it could become more commercial. Alan Lindenmoyer, the manager of NASA’s commercial space transportation programs, told the press that the docking of the capsule marked the beginning of a new era in commercial spaceflight.
SpaceX Dragon was captured by astronaut Don Pettit with the help of a robotic crane. He reported to NASA Mission Control in Huston that the International Space Station managed to “get a dragon by the tail”.
The space shuttle was created by a company Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX because NASA is no longer producing its own capsules, but hires private companies to do the work for them. There will be one more commercial freighter that NASA will use to send food, water, clothing and supplies to the station crew. The load that was received on Friday was about 1,200 pounds (544 kg).
Dragon’s job is not complete, however. The space ship will be repacked with equipment weighing around 1,300 pounds (590 kg). The International Space Station will send the shuttle back to the Earth on May 31. Scientists expect the Dragon to splash down in the Pacific Ocean, on the coast of Southern California during the same day.
Mike Suffredini from NASA encouraged people to take pride in this accomplishment. He explained that the docking of the commercial space ship has been planned for a long time and Americans should be proud that the event finally took place. In addition, the United States were thus, able to break Russia’s monopoly on sending crews to the station.
President Barack Obama called Elon Musk, founder and chief executive of SpaceX, to congratulate him. According to Musk, the caller ID was blocked and the chief executive thought it was a call from a telemarketer.