published Friday, May 25th, 2012

SpaceX Dragon docks at International Space Station in historic 1st

  • photo
    This image provided by NASA-TV shows the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft, top, after Dragon was grappled by the Canadarm2 robotic arm and connected to the International Space Station, Friday, May 25, 2012. Dragon is scheduled to spend about a week docked with the station before returning to Earth on May 31 for retrieval. (AP Photo/NASA)
    Photo by Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The first commercial supply ship is now part of the International Space Station.

Space station astronauts captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule and then docked it to the orbiting complex Friday, gladly taking part in the historic event.

The unmanned Dragon holds 1,000 pounds of supplies. The astronauts will open it up Saturday.

SpaceX is the first private company to attempt such a feat. Until now, only major governments have sent spacecraft to the space station.

NASA is turning over orbital supply missions to the commercial industry so it can focus on bigger, better objectives, like sending crews to Mars.

The billionaire mastermind behind SpaceX, Elon Musk, described the day's events as "just awesome." His company launched the Dragon from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday.

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