It’s one of the most expensive grocery deliveries in history. And it’s also the first-ever space mission by a private company to re-supply the International Space Station.
Carrying over 800 pounds of supplies for the ISS crew — including ice cream for a treat — SpaceX Dragon successfully docked around 4 a.m. PST this morning when Japanese astronaut Akihidko Hoshide secured the spacecraft with the station’s robotic arm.
“Looks like we’ve tamed the Dragon,” NASA expedition commander Sunita Williams said when the arm grabbed the craft. “We’re happy she’s on board with us.”
This is a historic moment in the history of humanity in space, as it marks the first privately funded and managed spacecraft to launch, carry supplies into orbit, and deliver them to a space station. In one sense, it’s a continuing of NASA’s and other nations’ space agencies exploration of space. In another, it opens a new era of commercialization of space technology and space flight, almost like something out of science-fiction author Ben Bova’s Grand Tour series, with SpaceX founder Elon Musk playing the role of industrialist and explorer Dan Randolph.