SpaceX finally made good on its delivery of a space station docking port Wednesday morning.
A Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station, bearing more than 2 tons of supplies. The shipment includes a docking port needed for future rocket ships. SpaceX is working on a crew-worthy Dragon, while Boeing is developing a capsule for astronauts named Starliner.
SpaceX launched its latest Dragon from Cape Canaveral on Monday. A year earlier, the first of these new docking rings was destroyed in a SpaceX launch accident. NASA and Boeing — which makes the ports — is working on a replacement that should fly in another 1 ½ years.
The two U.S. space station residents used a robot arm for Wednesday’s 250-mile-high operation above America‘s Great Lakes.
“We’ve captured us a Dragon,” reported astronaut Jeffrey Williams. “We look forward to the work that it brings.”
Mission Control replied, “This event is an important step on the journey of the International Space Station mission. Now let’s get this vehicle berthed so we can get to work.”
The newly arrived science experiments include a DNA decoder, or sequencer, that will get a workout by the first virus-hunter in space, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.
This is the second high-flying delivery this week. A Russian supply ship pulled in Monday night.