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A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station early Sunday (Dec. 8) to deliver tons of fresh supplies and equipment for NASA, including a "robot hotel" and some "mighty mice."
The Dragon cargo ship was captured by astronauts wielding a robotic arm at 5:05 a.m. EST (1005 GMT) as it sailed 262 miles (421 kilometers) over the South Pacific. The capture ended a three-day chase that began Thursday (Dec. 5) with Dragon's smooth launch from Florida. Less than three hours later, the spacecraft was securely attached to the station's Harmony module.
People - Houston - World - Launch - Navigation
"I would like to congratulate all of the people in Houston and around the world who contributed to the launch, navigation and capture of Dragon," station commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency said after capturing Dragon with the outpost's robotic arm. "They must know that whenever we welcome a new vehicle on board, we take on board also a little piece of the soul of everyone that contributed to the project. So, welcome on board."
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SpaceX - Dragon - International - Space - Station
SpaceX's Dragon at the International Space Station is delivering more than 5,700 lbs. of supplies (that's 2,585 kilograms). That cargo includes more than 2,100 lbs. (952 kg) of gear for 38 different experiments on the orbiting lab.
Among that science equipment is what NASA calls a "robot hotel" for the station's two Robotic External Leak Locators, free-flying robots designed to sniff out gas leaks on the space station.
Robots - Space - Station - Backup - Unit
There are two leak-hunting robots on the space station. The first launched in 2015 and was joined by a backup unit later.
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