Wrapping up this week’s story, the SpaceX Dragon capsule finally docked with the International Space Station earlier today, making it the first privately-owned craft to dock at the station. Aboard were a number of supplies, experiments and the cremated remains of several people, including those of actor James Doohan, best known as “Scotty” from Star Trek.
The figurative road to the ISS was a bit of a rough one, though. The initial launch had to be aborted due to a pressure irregularity in one of the engines, and the launch was rescheduled for a few days later. Then, as the capsule was being put through maneuvering tests prior to docking, a discrepancy in the information coming from Dragon’s LIDAR sensors and its thermal cameras caused the automatic maneuvering to keep it at a further distance than expected.
On the ground, SpaceX managed to adjust the LIDAR, which was being affected by another component of the ISS. Once the problem was resolved, docking proceeded normally; the capture at just before 10:00a Eastern. Two hours later, and the capsule was reported completely docked and attached to the ISS.