Tampa: SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon cargo ship arrived today at the International Space Station, packed with food, gear and science experiments for the astronauts living in orbit. “We have capture confirmed,” a NASA commentator said, as the space station’s robotic arm latched onto the gum-drop shaped spacecraft at 6:40 am (1040 GMT), at a moment when the spacecraft was over the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over the coming hours, the spacecraft will be brought closer and bolted onto the orbiting outpost.
Astronauts will begin unpacking later today. The cargo ship is carrying 5,800 pounds (2,600 kilograms) of food, supplies and science experiments to enable the study of thunderstorms, anti-cancer drugs, and technology to remove debris in orbit. The mission is the 14th for SpaceX under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to resupply the space station over multiple years. Both the Dragon cargo vessel and the Falcon 9 booster that launched in on Monday were flown to space before, marking the second time SpaceX has used a recycled spaceship and rocket to reach the ISS.