SpaceX Dragon Docks With Station

Flawless conclusion after a bumpy start


After getting off to a rocky start with an engine failure during launch Sunday, a commercial cargo capsule loaded with a half-ton of equipment and supplies—including ice cream—carried out a flawless final approach to the International Space Station early Wednesday, pulling up to within 60 feet so Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, operating the lab's robot arm, could pluck it out of open space for berthing.

Making the first of at least 12 cargo deliveries under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA, the SpaceX Dragon capsule, after a successful test flight last May, is the first commercially developed spacecraft to visit the station, the centerpiece of a push to restore U.S. resupply capability in the wake of the space shuttle's retirement last year.