NASA Astronuat Don Pettit and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko entered the Dragon commercial resupply ship for the first time on May 26, 2012 after Pettit opened the hatch at 5:53 AM EDT. Credit: NASA TV

Station Astronauts Enter the Dragon – First Private Capsule at ISS

26 May , 2012

by

[/caption]

For the first time in history space station astronauts have ‘Entered the Dragon’ .. The 1st Private Capsule in Space !

The hatches between the newly arrived Dragon private capsule and the International Space Station’s Harmony Node 2 module were opened at 5:53 a.m. EDT (0953 GMT) today, Saturday, May 26 as the massive complex was flying 407 kilometers (253 miles) over the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, just west of Auckland.

NASA astronaut Don Pettit had the honors of opening the hatch to the history making first commercial spacecraft to dock at the ISS and begin a busy few days of unloading gear and supplies.

Clearly the crew was eager for the momentous moment because Pettit and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Station Commander floated into Dragon nearly two hours ahead of schedule for the initial inspections.

NASA Astronuat Don Pettit opens hatch to Dragon from Harmony node module on May 26, 2012

Dragon is the first private spacecraft ever to journey and connect to the International Space Station and marked a milestone event in space history when it arrived yesterday morning on May 25. Dragon is the world’s first commercial resupply vehicle and was built by SpaceX Corporation based in Hawthorne, Calif., founded by CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk.

Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. NASA TV


As a routine precaution to guard against possible contamination and floating debris, Pettit and Kononenko wore protective eye goggles and dust masks over their mouths as they floated and somersaulted playfully through the hatch and all looked in ship shape. They took off the protective gear about 20 minutes later after the air had been well mixed and receiving the all clear from Houston Mission Control.

“There was no sign of any kind of FOD (foreign object debris) floating around in the atmosphere inside,” Pettit reported to Houston upon entering the Dragon. “It kind of reminds me of the cargo capability that I could put in the back of my pickup truck, and the smell inside smells like a brand new car.”

NASA Astronaut Don Pettit inside Dragon on May 26, 2012

Barely 21 hours ago yesterday morning Pettit snared the Dragon as it was drifting free in space about 10 meters (30 ft) away using the stations 18 m (58 ft) long Canadian-built robotic arm. ESA Astronaut Andre Kuiper then parked Dragon at an open port on the Harmony node. The arm will remain grappled to Dragon throughout most of its docked time.

Docked Dragon viewed from the Cupola Observation Dome aboard ISS. NASA TV

It will take about 20 to 25 hours to unload the cargo on Dragon over the next few days before it is scheduled to undock and depart on May 31.

Dragon is a resupply ship meant to replace some of the cargo duties – both up mass and down mass – fully lost with the forced retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet last year. It is the first American built spacecraft of any kind to visit the ISS since the departure of the final Shuttle mission STS-135 in July 2011.

Dragon grappled with Earth backdrop. NASA TV


The Dragon was packed with 460 kilograms (1014 lbs) of non-critical cargo including 306 kg (674 lbs) of food and crew provisions; 21 kg (46 lbs)of science experiment; 123 kg (271 lbs) prepositioned cargo bags to be used for future flights; and 10 kg (22 lbs) of assorted computer supplies and a laptop.

The vehicle will be refilled with more than 1400 pounds of science samples, trash and unneeded gear for the trip back home. Dragon is the only ISS cargo resupply vessel that has any significant return to Earth capability since it is equipped with parachutes and a heat shield, unlike the ATV, HTV and Cygnus which burn up on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Dragon is really the main means of carrying cargo back from the space station,” said Elon Musk at a post docking media briefing.

First look inside the Dragon spacecraft, currently attached to the International Space Station. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX is under contract with NASA to conduct a dozen Falcon 9/Dragon resupply missions to carry about 44,000 pounds of cargo to the ISS at a cost of some $1.6 Billion over the next few years.

The first operational Dragon resupply mission to the ISS could launch as soon as September.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket clears the tower after liftoff at 3:44 a.m. on May 22, 2012 from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.,on the first commercial mission to loft the Dragon cargo resupply vehicle to the International Space Station. Credit: Ken Kremer/www.kenkremer.com

The Dragon was blasted to space atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster from Cape Canaveral, Florida on this historic test flight on May 22, 2012 and linked up with the ISS on Flight Day 4 on May 25.

Ken Kremer

, , , , ,



Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 26, 2012 2:24 PM

What no Nay Sayers or conspiracy theorists today, got nothing to say? Thank you.

Congrats to SpaceX and NASA on a job well done. Wishing the best and brightest future together.

Deejay Nunti
Guest
May 26, 2012 3:42 PM

no man, you`re the first. And we hope the last.

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 26, 2012 4:25 PM

Thank You!!!!!!

TerryG
Member
May 26, 2012 5:06 PM

Yep. The strategy of combining COTS 2 and 3 has saved time, an LV and a bunch of dollars.
Good work SpaceX.

John Cervini
Guest
May 26, 2012 5:58 PM

My friends dog has a friend. That dog’s owner has a sister who’s old bosses brother found a homeless guy who made a lot of money in a scam I would like to sell you. Go to http://www…….

GayLetitia
Guest
GayLetitia
May 29, 2012 6:50 PM

m y co-wor ker’s si ster g ot p aid $2 1912 t he previo us w eek. s he ge ts pa id on the int ernet and g ot a $ 4168 00 h ouse. A ll sh e di d w as g et for tunate an d pu t in to ac tion the s teps gi ven on t his li nk===>> ?????? startworkat.blogspot.com

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 26, 2012 7:10 PM
Good to see such blind faith in a somewhat dubious endeavour. There are so many sideline issues with the success or failure of Spacex, that it cannot be said that its future is the right direction or not. Whilst commercial may appeal to Corporate America, the rest of the world will ardently disagree with the greedy opportunism. The risk of commercial space flight comes down to liability. Liability if something goes wrong, liability if their is an accident. Were an accident occurred in LEO to make it inaccessible to humanity, who is going to be ultimately responsible? One little mistake, one slip up, and the lawsuit via the international community would be incalculably damaging. The other real problem… Read more »
djplong
Guest
djplong
May 26, 2012 8:07 PM

Elon Musk had created an entire industry – designed, manufactured, tested and deployed entire new rocket systems for about the price of ONE Shuttle Launch. This is NOT what I would call a decision to ‘regret’

Olaf
Member
Olaf
May 26, 2012 8:42 PM

Be careful with this. Wait until he can show of if he can repeat this over and over again. One mishap and it could put SpaceX out if business.

This is a “commercial” company. Commercial companies live on profit.

TerryG
Member
May 26, 2012 10:08 PM
“Commercial companies live on profit” Of course, but there is no blatant profiteering here. NASA and SpaceX are willing buyer and willing seller of services at an agreed fixed price for achieved outcomes only. Further NASA has stated the price is cheaper (and service available faster) than could achieved with a NASA in-house developed system. Further such profits are to being ploughed back into development of the Falcon Heavy, the Launch Abort System, the Fly-back-to-base system for recovering spent stages, the F9 v1.1 engines and other innovations etc…. Further Orbital Sciences Corp. should fly their ISS cargo ship later this year, so competition has been a factor in setting the price point. Further, maximizing profit comes from eliminating… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
May 26, 2012 10:53 PM

I think that in the future when commercial rocket companies become common place that the same contractors working for NASA will be working for those companies. (I speak from experience, I am a contractor myself)

I also expect an upcoming patent war.

And I also expect that once the company grows, you will get Indian service call centres. Maybe the parts will be made in China.

djplong
Guest
djplong
May 26, 2012 11:16 PM

Quite the ‘gloomy Gus’. Oh – and China? When Elon announced the plans for his Falcon-9 Heavy, the huge lift capacity and the unbelievably low cost,you know what the Chinese said? “That’s impossible”.

You can’t make this stuff with $1/day laborers.

Kathy Foss
Guest
Kathy Foss
May 27, 2012 5:01 AM
In-terms of spaceflight technologies, any piece of space-x is more that likely ITAR restricted out the wazoo along with all the restrictions relating to distribution of parts and technologies that could be used for the construction of an ICBM, in short, because the technology is operated and built in the US, and its a huge ICBM like rocket that can fly to the ISS, space x would need the permission of the us govt and its treaty allies to sell and distribute the technology. To put this in context, if you jumped the fence to give the rocket a hug you would probably be shot, chewed on by dog or two, then dragged to a federal holding cell,… Read more »
mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 28, 2012 3:48 AM

Never all parts are in house thats how SpaceX controls cost’s.
Patent wars what is your thought’s, what war. the Rockets are all designed by Elon mostly, and this guy is not dumb, Elon is surrounded by some of the best in the industry, former NASA Astronauts and backing by the very best in the business, There are others too, Bigelow is now with SpaceX . All I ask is do your homework here before putting down a good thing.

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 27, 2012 4:04 PM

Surely, failure is a possibility, that is what insurance is for. Contingency plans, and so forth. Go to SpaceX site read and look at their launch manifest. this is just the beginning. SpaceX is now in corroboration with Bigelow Aerospace surely you know who and what they are!

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
May 26, 2012 8:23 PM
It is easy to disagree with exactly all claims made here, maybe because they seem to reflect some spaced out [sic!] political agenda. – Is Mastercope provocative? Only in trolling SpaceX hate bois, and this is the day to do it. – Will the rest of the world “ardently” disagree with commercialism? Most will not, since the world is based on it. – Are commercial companies liable? Yes, to third man, stock holders – exactly like NASA is liable to third man, voters. – Is exploration hindered by commercial operations? On Earth they are supported by them, say Antarctic tourist trade supplying the exploration bases more cheaply. The same should go for space, say Bigelow hotels unloading tourists… Read more »
SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 26, 2012 9:38 PM
The core problem here is if companies can show or follow altruism. The point is that companies do not behave this way. My statement is not anyway anti-commercialism but a view on how we approach possible access or use of resources beyond the Earth. Two examples of changes in US policy regarding space have not be thought through – having implications for the international community. I.e. Examples are in recent UT stories like James Cameron and a corporation of support for mining asteroids or NASA’s claims over US spacecraft components still on the moon. Clearly US companies / government do not think the same way as international community, and the present extreme preoccupation of making territorial or legalistic… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
May 27, 2012 5:00 PM
I was first sceptic about the mining of asteroids like some kind of money grabbing scheme. But I heard the complete explanation and it is basically a goal to test new technologies. those technologies can then be sold. If I were a commercial company then I would aim for the Apollo landing sites and land and retrieve the Apollo artefacts there so I can sell it for big buck to collectors. Who is going to stop me? In addition as a commercial company I can also sell my rockets and technology to other countries. Maybe Saudi Arabia. Launch restrictions. Nothing prevents a commercial company to launch 100 rockets at will with any content they like if they launch… Read more »
Chetan Chauhan
Guest
May 29, 2012 11:16 AM
The worst thing for any country is the beginning of protectionism. For a 100 years people from Asia have bought high-tech stuff from Europe and America , and now that they can build high-tech themselves , what is the problem for Americans to buy stuff made outside of the USA ? As long as the products are of good quality they will obviously sell. Speaking about IBM they sold the PC business because it was loss-making and too much of a waste for them. They now focus on making world-class software and they still make some great Servers – where the real money is. “Don’t fall for the hype that commercial automatically means good” . We have had… Read more »
Chetan Chauhan
Guest
May 29, 2012 11:16 AM
The worst thing for any country is the beginning of protectionism. For a 100 years people from Asia have bought high-tech stuff from Europe and America , and now that they can build high-tech themselves , what is the problem for Americans to buy stuff made outside of the USA ? As long as the products are of good quality they will obviously sell. Speaking about IBM they sold the PC business because it was loss-making and too much of a waste for them. They now focus on making world-class software and they still make some great Servers – where the real money is. “Don’t fall for the hype that commercial automatically means good” . We have had… Read more »
delphinus100
Guest
delphinus100
May 27, 2012 3:59 AM
“Whilst commercial may appeal to Corporate America, the rest of the world will ardently disagree with the greedy opportunism.” Where were they for the first *commercial* communications satellites? Oh, wait. Some parts of ‘the rest of the world’ build those, launch those (Indeed, the US hasn’t been the leader in number commercial launches for some time now) and *use* those kinds of commercial satellites. And none of them done for free, either. What suddenly makes it so different now…? “As for Mastercope’s provocative statement here, his words are obviously merely to suppress alternative points of view and attempt to avoid to have a reasonable considered discussion.” Provocative? Suppressed? Please… “I see two only important international options here to… Read more »
SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 27, 2012 11:47 AM

Nice bias, sonny.

delphinus100
Guest
delphinus100
May 27, 2012 1:18 PM

So, you have no meaningful answer. Very well.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 27, 2012 11:48 PM

No. I’ve already stated my case here and elsewhere.

delphinus100
Guest
delphinus100
May 27, 2012 11:57 PM

Your ‘case’ disregards and contradicts decades-old facts and history. There is nothing more to say to that.

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 28, 2012 3:51 AM

Stifle really, I seem to remember this story is about SpaceX so what am I stifling,,

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 27, 2012 3:41 PM

Thank You Sir you are absolutely in your mind.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 27, 2012 11:47 PM

As I said… The core problem here is if companies can show or follow altruism. The point is that companies do not behave this way.

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 28, 2012 3:53 AM

Maybe the Companies were you live or have dealt with, Here is a thought, maybe we got a first.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 28, 2012 6:34 AM

Please. Your acting like a jerk.

krenshala
Guest
krenshala
May 28, 2012 4:27 PM

And you are ignoring reality.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 29, 2012 2:06 AM

Yeah, just the American reality.

All I said was “The core problem here is if companies can show or follow altruism.”

or is it profit based only?

Olaf
Member
Olaf
May 26, 2012 8:53 PM

No one is saying Nay. We are just warning for the hype.
SpaceX is wait too much over-hyped right now that people expect them to do miracles.

It is very interesting what SpaceX does, just like SpaceShipOne did.

It is very logical that commercial companies are heading for space. Near space is filled with commercial satellites. But these companies are not interested in space exploration, they only are interested in earning money. They only go where the profit goes,and have no shame to drop their ideologies for the money. Remember Google, when it was small: “Do not evil”?

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 27, 2012 3:57 PM

Do we go to work for free, no we earn a check same thing here. Go to various sites , maybe even the SpaceX site,,, the collective mantra of SpaceX is to make Earth a multi-planetary species, we are pretty much mucking it up here. Not to mention a rock or any other disaster. Future speak, yes but you cant win the lottery if you don’t play. Be positive folks something wonderful is happening.

JoeTO
Member
JoeTO
May 28, 2012 5:38 PM

If it means building base to extract resources from Mars / Moon / Moons of Jupiter, Saturn for profit. What is wrong with that?

David Krauss
Guest
May 26, 2012 3:55 PM

Hatching the Dragon was only the last step in the berthing process.

wjwbudro
Member
wjwbudro
May 26, 2012 6:26 PM

No glitches either, that in itself was great engineering to get it right the first time!

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 26, 2012 4:26 PM

Yeah, gotz to get to the Ocean next.

kwestdjonmaarc
Member
kwestdjonmaarc
May 26, 2012 8:08 PM

i dont get it. Are they so concerned with weight savings that the only thing they could throw in the Dragon was like a 1 megapixel 2001 cell phone camera? was really looking forward to seeing some modern blingbling photos, like maybe a bagillion megapixel panorama of the interior. laaame tooowwn sad

boris152
Guest
boris152
May 27, 2012 12:09 AM

Modern blingbling cameras don’t hold up in space all that well . . . something about subatomic particles with the energy of a fast pitch hard ball . . .

delphinus100
Guest
delphinus100
May 27, 2012 4:06 AM

Compared to a broadcast studio quality high-definition digital camera?

Yes, size, weight, power consumption, downlink bandwidth and cost *do* matter…

Sorry that you weren’t sufficiently entertained, but that never was the goal.

TerryG
Member
May 26, 2012 8:16 PM

FYI, video of the hatch opening is here. Enjoy.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
May 26, 2012 9:01 PM

If there is one advice that I would tell SpaceX.
Please hire a designer to give the capsule and rocket a more pleasing aesthetic look.
Falcon 9 and Dragon are not really sexy looking crafts.

And in addition put on some advertising space on the rocket and the capsule. You could fill the complete capsule wit ads like “Dash washes whiter than white”, or how “Old space” can keep you cool even in space. A Gilette ad. An Ax ad… David Beckham Bodywear – H&M, Coke’s Polar Bears, The Cloud – GoDaddy

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 26, 2012 9:49 PM

Ads should be banned in space. Just imagine a big ‘M’ on the moon advertising some burger company place on the lunar surface. Yet another relevant example of why there should be strong international curtailment on various commercial practices in space.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
May 26, 2012 10:09 PM

So you don’t like a huge neon Coca Cola sign running 90 minute orbits to show the world that Coca Cola is good?

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 26, 2012 10:20 PM

How about a Chinese flag instead?

LoftyAmbitions
Guest
LoftyAmbitions
May 26, 2012 9:50 PM
We stayed up to see the hatch opened, then submitted our article to The Huffington Post (it should be up there soon). We happened to wake up for this morning’s news briefing, too. This mission couldn’t be going more smoothly thus far, and we’re impressed how seamlessly SpaceX and Dragon are following in the footsteps of NASA and the shuttle. A lot of questions remain about the future and whether we’ll move beyond low-Earth orbit and even questions about the present commercialization of LEO (it’s crowded up there). But Dragon is up there delivering cargo and, importantly, returning cargo to Earth less than a year after the last shuttle mission ended. Sure, SpaceX benefited from decades of NASA… Read more »
Aqua4U
Member
May 26, 2012 11:45 PM

KEY to Elan’s plan is to launch a continuing series of reusable rockets. Boosters that can fly back to a runway near the launch site… Whaddoya think? RAM jet turbines on the tips of high speed ‘Osprey’ or turboprop like blades? Helicopter rockets anyone?

Aqua4U
Member
May 27, 2012 12:01 AM

Yeah.. Rotary Rockets a company out of Mojave CA comes to mind…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_Rocket

Aqua4U
Member
May 27, 2012 12:04 AM

So… the top part of the aerodynamic fairings houses the centrifugal force deployed turbine blades. The bottom part of the fairing houses the landing gear for vertical landings…

Aqua4U
Member
May 27, 2012 12:07 AM

Upon landing.. the central of the booster’s nine rockets fires momentarily to soften that landing.

Aqua4U
Member
May 26, 2012 11:59 PM

Yeah.. Rotary Rockets comes to mind…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_Rocket

Kevin Frushour
Guest
May 27, 2012 1:37 AM

Let’s see here, this is the fourth vehicle to dock at the ISS? Space Shuttle, Soyuz, The Automated Transfer Vehicle, and the Dragon, right?

JonHanford
Guest
JonHanford
May 27, 2012 1:24 PM

You left out Progress and HTV.

Kevin Frushour
Guest
May 27, 2012 4:55 PM

Aha – thanks.

Easykevin1960
Guest
Easykevin1960
May 27, 2012 11:11 PM
I am amazed at the posts I often read on this site. What amazes me the most is the people who seem to only want to argue a mute point for the sake of arguing. While I would never stifle an individuals right to his own opinion. Some people apparently do not even have a well thought out and researched opinion of the facts. Therefore, I will offer my own. I think that Space X has achieved a remarkable feat and is well deserved of praise. In light of the ever increasing budget constraints placed on NASA, I for one am grateful to any organization that can continue to forge ahead with the endeavor of making space more… Read more »
SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 27, 2012 11:44 PM

I disagree. America is not the only country in the world nor does ‘free enterprise’ have the right to dictate over some kind of ‘universal’ laws of sovereignty or ownership over all others. Such condescending attitude like this one expressed here, frankly stink.

mastercope
Member
mastercope
May 28, 2012 3:40 AM

What are you talking about?
Give us a reference, yeah I get the the Monoliths told us to stay away from Europa , but it also said the rest of these worlds are ours,,,,,,,,,,,,

krenshala
Guest
krenshala
May 28, 2012 4:35 PM

Honestly, you are the only one in these conversations that sounds condescending. You obviously have something against the US, corporations, or both. Thats fine, you are entitled to your own opinions. Just don’t try and verbally beat people over the head with them. All that is going to do is cause people to ignore your comments regardless of whether they are valid or not.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 29, 2012 2:27 AM

Yes I do have “…something against the US, corporations, or both.”

They are clearly not associated nor aligned with the global aim of using space for the benefit of all humanity. Waving “God Bless America” doesn’t auger well for such a future, now does it?

Just read this article “Who Owns the Moon? The Galactic Government vs. the UN” to see some of the issues;

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090717-who-owns-moon-real-estate.html

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 29, 2012 2:31 AM
Chetan Chauhan
Guest
May 29, 2012 6:27 AM

Most of these agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

When it comes to unexplored land , only one rule applies –
Finders keeper, loosers weepers.

The pioneers tend to keep the spoils open for the taking.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 29, 2012 11:10 AM

That is just an insular American view. It shows the mythical ideas of latent superiority of the American populous. Act like the world policemen is one thing, supporting what is best for all humanity is another. The arrogance, like your quote here, is why much of the world distrusts the US. It will be you undoing. Just saying.

krenshala
Guest
krenshala
May 29, 2012 2:41 PM

An American view? Tell that to the British Empire, the Chinese, the Portugese, the Spanish, all of whom took advantage of “finding” “unclaimed” land in their time, and making use of it. Your view of history is clearly colored by your hatred of things corporate.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 30, 2012 2:06 AM

What absolute obfuscation. Funny all these are countries NOT corporations.
Corporations are not a problem for me within countries. (I have not said otherwise.)
Ownership of anything beyond the Earth is not / should not owned by anyone. My premise is simply that it should be for the benefit of all mankind, not filthy stinking Americans out for a quick buck.

krenshala
Guest
krenshala
May 30, 2012 2:42 PM

I’ll be honest here, my knowledge of this particular area of history is a bit weak, but I can come up with one counter argument off the top of my head — The British East-India Company.

So, do you also believe nobody should own anything here on earth? Also, if you are going to blanket categorize Americans as “filthy stinking [and] out for a quick buck” then I’m just going to move the marker for you back into the “Unskilled Troll” category and stop responding. You clearly aren’t interested in a rational discussion.

SJStar
Guest
SJStar
May 31, 2012 7:44 PM

Its the blasted 21st Century not the 17th!!! People then were bought and sold, and lands stolen from indigenous cultures. They don’t do because it was morally wrong, just as buying and selling space or celestial bodies! Simple.

krenshala
Guest
krenshala
June 2, 2012 2:30 PM

who doesn’t do this anymore? I’m CONSTANTLY seeing news reports about trafficking in human lives TODAY.

Regardless of what you may believe, what SpaceX and other commerical space companies are doing is good for humanity, and even more good for the US. If you don’t like that, tough.

EK
Guest
EK
May 29, 2012 6:00 AM

Good going Space X. I want a ride.

wpDiscuz