The Dragon has landed, carrying ice cream
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station plucked a commercial cargo ship from orbit yesterday, a key manoeuvre in the first US supply run to the orbital outpost since the retirement of the cargo-hauling space shuttles last year.
The Dragon cargo ship positioned itself 10m from the $100-billion research complex. Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide then used the space station's 17.7m-long robotic arm to grab hold of a grapple fixture on the side of the capsule as the spacecraft flew 402km above the Pacific Ocean .
"Looks like we tamed the Dragon," commander Sunita Williams radioed to Mission Control in Houston.
"Thanks to everybody at SpaceX and Nasa for bringing her here to us. And the ice cream."
The cargo includes a freezer to ferry science samples back and forth between the station and Earth.
For the flight up, it was packed with ice cream, a rare treat for an orbiting crew.