SpaceX Delivers First Commercial ISS Berth

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft last week successfully berthed with the International Space Station, becoming the first commercial vehicle in history to attach to the space station. The space station’s robotic arm grappled Dragon on the morning of May 25 US East Coast time, according a release from SpaceX that same day. Several hours later. Dragon’s berthing mechanism successfully attached to the station, states the release. In a White House blog entry on May 25, John Holdren, assistant to the President for science and technology, called the berthing “an achievement of historic scientific and technological significance and a key milepost in President Obama’s vision for America’s continued leadership in space.” The astronauts aboard ISS on May 26 began unloading the 1,000 pounds of cargo that Dragon brought with it, according to NASA’s webpage on the mission. They will reload Dragon with cargo for its return trip to Earth. It is scheduled for splashdown in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles west of southern California on May 31. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched Dragon into space on May 22 from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.