Dragon Capture Confirmed Over Canada

SpaceX Dragon
The SpaceX Dragon is pictured about 30 meters from the International Space Station. It would be captured minutes later when it reached its capture point 10 meters from the station Credit: NASA TV

While the International Space Station was traveling more than 256 miles over Quebec, Canada, NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel, captured the Dragon spacecraft at 6:54 a.m. EDT using the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Ground controllers will now send commands to begin the robotic installation of the spacecraft on bottom of the station’s Harmony module. NASA Television coverage of installation is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Watch online at www.nasa.gov/live.

The Dragon lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Friday, June 29 with more than 5,900 pounds of research, equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of investigations aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Among the hardware flying to the space station is a spare Canadian-built Latching End Effector (LEE), the part used as the “hands” that grapple payloads and visiting cargo spaceships such as Dragon. This was the 30th grapple of an arriving spacecraft, and the 15th time the Canadarm2 has captured a Dragon. Each end of the Canadarm2 robotic arm has an identical LEE, and they also enable Canadarm2 to “walk” to different locations on the orbiting outpost.

Among the research arriving on Dragon is a cellular biology investigation (Micro-12) to understand how microgravity affects the growth, gene expression and ability of a model bacterium to transfer electrons through its cell membrane along the bacterial nanowires it produces. Such bacteria could be used in microbial fuel cells to make electricity from waste organic material.

An Earth science instrument called the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) will provide a new space-based measurement of how plants respond to changes in water availability. This data can help society better manage agricultural water use.

Keep up to date with the latest news from the crew living in space by following https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, and the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.