NASA releases footage of SpaceX Dragon capture (video)
The Dragon spaceship high over Mount Etna, Sicily. Photo by Cmdr Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station, via Twitter
US space agency NASA has released a video that shows how crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to snag the Dragon capsule containing supplies for the orbiting outpost.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday and the ISS crew caught the capsule two days later, at 5.31am EST (10.31am GMT), over northern Ukraine.
The video shows Canadarm2 inching closer and closer to Dragon, until it finally latched onto the capsule carrying about 544 kilograms (1,200 pounds) of food, supplies, spare parts, and science equipment for the six-person international crew living aboard the ISS.
Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean via parachute on 25 March. At that time, it is expected to be laden with some 1,210 kilograms (2,668 pounds) of unneeded or broken equipment, as well as scientific samples, NASA said in a statement.
“Returning investigation samples will demonstrate how life in microgravity affects the growth of plant seedlings, changes to the human body, the behaviour of semiconductors and detergents, and more,” NASA added.
Watch the NASA Captures Dragon video here: