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Posted at 10:06 AM ET, 05/25/2012

Updated: SpaceX Dragon capsule makes history; captured by international space station (Live video)

Updated at 11:08 a.m.: The live feed from NASA continues. But, in case you missed it, here is video of the historic event:

Updated at 10:06 a.m.: The capture procedure is officially complete. And we’ve been receiving some reaction online from readers:

Updated 9:55 a.m.: The international space station has captured the Dragon capsule, making SpaceX the first private company to launch their own spacecraft to be captured by the international space station’s robotic arm. At 9:56 a.m., the capture was confirmed, taking place over Northwest Australia.

Update 9:52: Astronauts Don Pettit along and Andre Kuipers are operating the robotic arm to fetch the Dragon Capsule as it approaches the station in free drift.

Updated 9:46 a.m.: And we are go for capture. The capsule has been given the greenlight for capture by the international space station. The capsule is operating on one LIDAR, if the second LIDAR fails, the capsule will automatically abort.

Update: 9:41 a.m.: Dragon has crossed the 15 meter threshold on its approach to the crucial 10 meter point. The team on board the station has turned on five lights on station’s exterior for additional light, as the space station and capsule head into orbital night.

Update: 9:36 a.m.:

As we continue to wait for the capsule to attach to the international space station, I can’t help but share the opening to Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Listening to this over video of the capsule slowly making its way towards the Space Station is definitely something worth trying.

Update 9:26 a.m.: Everything is “go” right now for Dragon to depart the 30 meter hold point. After this, it will reach10 meters from the station — within reach of the ISS’s robotic arm. The updated grapple time for the capsule is 10:02 a.m. ET.

Update: 9:17 a.m.: Dragon is currently holding at the 30-meter hold point. On the ground, NASA and SpaceX staff are determining at which levels the LIDAR and other monitoring sensors need to be set. The SpaceX team has been making modifications to the rendezvous sensors throughout the morning.

Update 9:02 a.m.: The capture time has been updated yet again. It is now set tentatively for 10:40 a.m. ET. As we await updates on the Dragon capsule’s capture, I recommend reading Post colleague Brian Vastag’s May 22 piece on SpaceX and how they seek to make space travel cheap and cool.

Update 8:56 a.m.: The SpaceX team believes it has found a way to fix a problem with the LIDAR sensors, which allow the capsule to fine-tune its approach to the station, similar to a set of eyes. Dragon should be able to resume its approach to the 30-meter hold point where teams in Houston will make an evaluation as to when Dragon will be able to proceed to the 10 meter point, where the robotic arm will be able to reach out and capture it.

Update 8:33 a.m.: The Dragon capsule is currently holding as both the capsule and the international space station entering into daylight.

Original Post: NASA posted an update shortly after 8 a.m. this morning, changing the time for when the Dragon Capsule is scheduled to be captured by the international space station to 9:10 a.m. EDT. The capsule has gone through a series of maneuvers, and was originally scheduled to be captured by the space station at 11:05 a.m.

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By  |  10:06 AM ET, 05/25/2012

Categories:  Morning Read, Technology, Video

 
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