July 19, 2012
SpaceX’s Dragon Makes History
On May 25, 2012 SpaceX made history when the Dragon spacecraft became the first privately developed vehicle in history to successfully attach to the International Space Station. Previously only four governments — the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency — had achieved this feat. This video features highlights from the mission, including:
May 22: Launch Day: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched the Dragon spacecraft into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
May 23: Dragon orbited Earth as it traveled toward the International Space Station.
May 24: Dragon’s sensors and flight systems were subjected to a series of tests to determine if the vehicle was ready to attach to the space station.
May 25: NASA gave Dragon the GO to attempt berthing with the station. Dragon approached. It was successfully captured by the station’s robotic arm.
May 26: US astronaut Don Pettit opened Dragon’s hatch and the astronauts entered.
May 31: After six days at the International Space Station, Dragon departed for its return to Earth, carrying a load of cargo for NASA. SpaceX completed its historic mission when Dragon splashed down safely in the Pacific.
credit: NASA and SpaceX