US space agency NASA’s unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Dragon space capsule successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday morning, completing its latest resupply mission to the revolving space station.
The unmanned rocket arrived at 10:54 am at the ISS after US astronaut Barry Wilmore successfully captured the craft flying over the Mediterranean Sea with the robotic arm manned from inside the international space station.
“We’re excited to have it on board,” the station commander Wilmore concluded after the rocket successfully docked at ISS.
The Falcon 9 rocket was launched on Saturday carrying the SpaceX Dragon capsule that contained approximately 5,000 pounds of supplies including food and groceries, Christmas presents and several other materials for 256 science experiments in the space.
The supplies also included a special instrument that will be used by the scientists at the ISS for analyzing the tiny particles and clouds in the atmosphere of the Earth. Scientists said that the findings will assist in better comprehending the climate changes on our planet. Moreover, the resulting data will also aid in getting advanced weather forecast.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule also delivered supplies for various biological experiments that are designed for the microgravity environment not present on the Earth. Scientists say these experiments will further facilitate in the advancement of knowledge in the field of medicine.
According to NASA, the SpaceX Dragon will be linked to the space station for over a month. Following completion of its mission at the ISS, it will head towards home to a “parachute-assisted splashdown” off the California coast.
This marks the fifth successful delivery mission of the SpaceX Dragon to the ISS.
SpaceX has signed a USD 1.6-billion Commercial Resupply Services contract with the American space agency for the deliveries of a minimum of half a dozen cargo at the ISS.