nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

Easter morning delivery for space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies.

The shipment arrived Sunday morning via a Dragon, versus a bunny.

The SpaceX company's cargo ship, Dragon, spent two days chasing the International Space Station following its launch from Cape Canaveral. Astronauts used a robot arm to capture the capsule 260 miles above Egypt.

More than 2 tons of food, spacewalking gear and experiments fill the Dragon, including mating fruit flies, a little veggie hothouse and legs for the resident robot. NASA also packed family care packages for the six spacemen.

On Wednesday, the stakes will be even higher when the two Americans on board conduct a spacewalk to replace a dead computer. NASA wants a reliable backup in place as soon as possible, even though the primary computer is working fine. The backup failed April 11.

The SpaceX delivery wasn't exactly express. The launch was delayed more than a month. A minor communication problem cropped up during Sunday's rendezvous, but the capture still took place on time and with success.

SpaceX flight controllers, at company headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., exchanged high-fives, shook hands, applauded and embraced once Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata snared the Dragon with the station's hefty robot arm.

"Great work catching the Dragon," radioed NASA's Mission Control in Houston. "Thanks for getting her on board."

The capsule was solid and stable for grabbing, Wakata reported, making the job easy. He congratulated the SpaceX team and added, "we're excited."

The Dragon will remain attached to the space station until mid-May. It will be filled with science samples - including the flies - for return to Earth.

NASA is paying SpaceX as well as Virginia's Orbital Sciences Corp. to regularly stock the orbiting lab. These commercial shipments stemmed from the 2011 retirement of the space shuttles. This was the fourth station delivery for SpaceX.

Russia, Japan and Europe also make occasional deliveries.

Space-X Rocket Heads to Space Station

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
kcarthey April 20 2014 at 6:51 PM

Perhaps it is now time to add a second "S" to NASA that stands for "Seas".

Flag Reply +1 rate up
goodgrief61945 April 20 2014 at 3:45 PM

I take it that they can't send any people on this rocket?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
rbroyhill goodgrief61945 April 20 2014 at 5:28 PM


Flag Reply +1 rate up
Ed goodgrief61945 April 20 2014 at 7:09 PM

Musk plans on people transport. By the way, his rocket is recoverable. Just like it was supposed to be.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
garabian April 20 2014 at 9:41 PM

I would like to know hosw much the space x cost as oposwed t how much it wodl hav causzed if the govt xdid it.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
Sonny garabian April 20 2014 at 10:30 PM

You have to be joking.............. Look at how much the Govt is spending on NASA, and they aren't even flying!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
baggersrnutz garabian April 20 2014 at 10:52 PM

That is a Legitimate question. However Govt spending on any particular technology usually preceeds it being done on a private scale, and privatized space travel is just around the corner. It will be much cheaper in the long run when the technology is perfected to fly 90 miles up then go whereever you want on the rest of the world and fly 90 miles down. much less fuel

Flag Reply +5 rate up
You've got IT! April 20 2014 at 9:53 PM

Well done Elon & company!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
AsianPlanet April 20 2014 at 1:44 PM

Elan Musk Space-X rockets cost about 30 percent of the cost of competition.
He should receive an award as "engineer of the century" for his electric cars, space rockets and solar energy advancements.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
2 replies
goodgrief61945 AsianPlanet April 20 2014 at 3:44 PM

Pulitzer prize?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
rbroyhill AsianPlanet April 20 2014 at 5:31 PM

Just shows private enterprise is ALWAYS more efficent than government. When will we all learn that lesson.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
baggersrnutz April 20 2014 at 10:54 PM

Since space travel has become much more of an internationally involved organization, I recommend that NASA be renamed " Starfleet "

Flag Reply +6 rate up
jimjab April 20 2014 at 12:21 PM

Good job Space-X. I am looking forward to your crew capsule so we can stop using the Russians to send our people to the Space Station.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
Glen April 20 2014 at 10:59 PM

I always thought the water over the launch pad (which flows about 4 feet deep in some cases), was to keep things cool. Come to find out the primary reason is noise suspression to keep things from rattling loose, such as parts of the rocket its self.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Brian Hope April 21 2014 at 12:04 AM

It's a damned shame that the shuttle program was not shut down incrementally, the oldest one first, at a rate of, say, one every couple of years. At the same time, a rudimentary passenger shuttle, similar in scope to the Dragon X cargo craft, could have been gradually brought on line. That way, we would never have had to find ourselves dependent on the damned Russians to keep the ISS occupied.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
lesliesgenealogy April 20 2014 at 11:11 AM

Every single dollar it costs is spent on EARTH! That means a lot of people have jobs, and money to spend, not to mention their income taxes that go to support a lot of people who don't work. Do some research on the spin off benefits of the life support research that went into the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Every person that has ended up in ER or ICU since has benefitted from that research.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
aol~~ 1209600


More From Our Partners