Due to a glitch in its global positioning system (GPS) software, SpaceX was unable to make contact with the ISS (International Space Station) yesterday. The private space company that it would re-attempt the rendezvous today. And to our delight, the dragon capsule has successfully been captured by the Canada2 robotic arm. This was a tight delivery and needed to be complete today due to another incoming Russian flight.
Today, the Dragon capsule was captured using the Space Station’s robotic arm at 5:44 a.m. EST by astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet. But SpaceX’s cargo had to spend an extra day orbiting the Earth before reattempting the rendezvous today. When Dragon was secured using the robotic arm, Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA), who’s on board the ISS, said,
With that capture, a Dragon has now officially arrived to ISS. We’re very happy indeed to have it on board and very much looking forward to putting to good use the two-and-a-half tons of science it carries.
Since a successful docking has now been made, it will soothe nerves of both NASA and SpaceX. The cargo had detected the said glitch moments before its previous docking, a crucial instant for the mission. But, the Dragon has now been connected to their Earth-facing port, that will be its home for the next month.
— NASA (@NASA) February 23, 2017
SpaceX has been using their Dragon capsule to complete resupply missions to the ISS for more than five years. But, this was the first time that the docking had to be aborted due to a software glitch in the GPS system of the capsule. The said capsule is carrying a whole load of important supplies and instruments to the ISS. It weighs about 5,500 lbs (2,500 kilograms) of supplies for the 6-person crew aboard the ISS. This also includes 250 scientific experimental gear, including a brand new device that will be attached to the ISS and help monitor the Ozone layer from up above.
Also, for those completely aloof about the specifics, SpaceX hoisted the Dragon capsule, carrying supplies for NASA, using the Falcon 9 rocket booster from Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. This is the same historic launch pad that’s repeatedly been used for Apollo missions and the very first moon landing mission as well. SpaceX managed to complete the deployment of Dragon and return of the Falcon 9 on their ground station.