SpaceX craft docks with International Space Station

Dragon spacecraft's second attempt a success


The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft that waved off its scheduled docking with the International Space Station Wednesday morning, made a successful rendezvous Thursday morning.

The vehicle was captured by the robotic Canadarm2 at approximately 5:45 a.m. Thursday and was fully installed at 8:12 a.m. NASA said. The hatch between the newly arrived spacecraft and the Harmony module of the space station is scheduled to be opened Thursday afternoon.

The Dragon vehicle will remained docked with the ISS for a month.

Onboard computers recognized an incorrect value in data about the location of the space station and triggered the abort around 0.7 miles from the target, according to NASA's website. 

The spacecraft, which became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the ISS in 2012, automatically reset for another docking attempt Thursday morning.

The mission was part of a busy week for SpaceX. On Sunday, the company landed its leftover booster after lifting off from Cape Canaveral, a feat accomplished only two other times, promoting SpaceX boss Elon Musk to tweet "Baby came back."

Tuesday, SpaceX announced that it would move its target date to launch a robotic mission to Mars from 2018 to 2020.

Dragon isn't the only spacecraft on the way to the ISS. An unmanned Russian cargo ship lifted off successfully Wednesday on a supply mission to the space station.

A Soyuz-U booster rocket carrying the Progress MS-05 spacecraft blasted off as scheduled at 11:58 a.m. (0558 GMT) from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan.

The mission follows the Dec. 1 botched launch of the previous Progress ship, which crashed less than seven minutes after liftoff, spraying fiery debris over a sparsely populated area in southern Siberia near the border with Mongolia.

An official Russian investigation concluded that the failed launch was caused by a manufacturing flaw in the Soyuz booster's third-stage engine.

Prior to Wednesday's launch, space officials ran rigorous checks of the engines already built and conducted a comprehensive scrutiny of manufacturing facilities.

The launch went ahead without a hitch and the spacecraft entered a designated preliminary orbit en route to the space outpost. It's set to dock at the station Friday.