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Dragon Grappled and Berthed to Station

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Published on May 25, 2012

The SpaceX Dragon capsule is grappled and berthed to the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station's Harmony module at 12:02 p.m. EDT, May 25, 2012.

Mission Itinerary:

During the mission, Dragon must perform a series of complex tasks, each presenting significant technical challenges (dates subject to change):

* May 22/Launch Day: SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches a Dragon spacecraft into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
* May 23: Dragon orbits Earth as it travels toward the International Space Station.
* May 24: Dragon's sensors and flight systems are subjected to a series of complicated tests to determine if the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station; these tests include maneuvers and systems checks in which the vehicle comes within 1.5 miles of the station.
* May 25: NASA decides if Dragon is allowed to attempt berthing with the station. If so, Dragon approaches. It is captured by station's robotic arm and attached to the station, a feat that requires extreme precision.
* May 25 - 31: Astronauts open Dragon's hatch, unload supplies and fill Dragon with return cargo.
* May 31: After approximately two weeks, Dragon is detached from the station and returns to Earth, landing in the Pacific, hundreds of miles west of Southern California.

downloaded from www.nasa.gov

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