SpaceX Dragon First Private Craft To Dock With ISS

The first privately built space capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station today; SpaceX's Dragon made the first-ever commercial cargo delivery.

(SpaceX Dragon back at ISS)

The unmanned Dragon spacecraft was captured by station astronauts using a robotic arm after an apparently flawless approach by the cargo-laden space capsule, which was built by the private spaceflight company SpaceX. It is the first of 12 resupply flights SpaceX will fly for NASA under a $1.6 billion deal.

"Looks like we've tamed the Dragon," station commander Sunita Williams said as the spacecraft was captured by a robotic arm. "We're happy she's onboard with us. Thanks to everyone at SpaceX and NASA for bringing her to us … and the ice cream."

Reading this story of a privately funded space craft docking successfully with the International space station makes me think of the first time I read about a little private space craft docked with a vast spaceship orbiting Earth in science fiction Grandmaster Robert Heinlein's 1941 classic Methuselah's Children:

Why, the ship wasn't a proper deep-space craft at all. It did not have an airlock but merely a seal to let it fasten to a larger ship; Lazarus was staring right into the body of the craft. It looked like - yes, it was a "Joy-boat Junior," a little private strato-yacht, suitable only for point-to-point trajectory, or at the most for rendezvous with a satellite provided the satellite could refuel it for the return leg.

Via SpaceX on Google + via Winchell Chung and CSMonitor.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/11/2012)

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