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U.S. Dragon spacecraft arrives at space station: NASA

English.news.cn   2014-04-20 21:26:02

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The unmanned Dragon capsule owned by private U.S. firm SpaceX arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday morning for its third commercial resupply mission to the orbiting lab, U.S. space agency NASA said.

The spacecraft was successfully captured by a robotic arm operated by astronauts inside the ISS at 7:14 a.m. EDT (1114 GMT) as the two flew about 418 km over Egypt, NASA said via its Twitter account.

Dragon, which was launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Friday afternoon, carried nearly 5,000 pounds (about 2,268 kg) of supplies and payloads, including materials to support more than 150 scientific experiments in space this year.

The scientific payloads on Dragon will enable investigation of efficient ways to grow plants in space, demonstration of laser optics to communicate with Earth, and studies on human immune system function in microgravity and Earth observation.

Also being delivered is a pair of high-tech legs for Robonaut 2, which can provide the humanoid robot torso already aboard the ISS with the mobility it needs to help with regular and repetitive tasks inside the space station.

Dragon is scheduled to spend four weeks there and then leave the ISS on May 18 for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of California.

The mission is SpaceX's third cargo delivery flight to the ISS through a 1.6-billion-U.S.dollar contract with NASA.

Besides SpaceX, NASA has also signed a deal with another private company called Orbital Sciences Corp. to supply cargo to the ISS.

Editor: Fu Peng
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