Sometimes I complain about the earthly weather, but mostly I like to post about astronomy and space events. Hope you enjoy the articles.
By: Susie77 , 7:14 PM GMT on May 24, 2012
DRAGON RENDEZVOUS: SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, May 25th, making it the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the ISS. Last night, Dave Blanchard photographed the Dragon chasing the space station across the night sky over Flagstaff, Arizona:
"While the ISS was very bright and clearly visible in this image, the Dragon was very dim," says Blanchard. "It can be seen as a faint streak just below the ISS."
The two streaks will soon be joined. During the early hours of May 25th, the Dragon will approach the docking port on the station's Harmony module. Because this is the Dragon's first visit to the ISS, mission controllers will proceed with caution. A detailed series of navigation and communication tests will be performed before the capsule is allowed to move close enough for astronauts to grab it with the robot arm and connect it to the station.
After docking, the Dragon will remain connected for about three weeks, giving astronauts plenty of time to unload its 1200 lb of supplies and re-load it with used scientific equipment for return to Earth. Reversing the process of connecting the spacecraft to the station, astronauts will use the robotic arm to remove the capsule. The Dragon will then de-orbit and return to Earth under parachutes, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.
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