SpaceX cargo ship attached to space station

CBS News

Two days after launch from Cape Canaveral, a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship loaded with 2.5 tons of equipment and supplies pulled up to the International Space Station early Tuesday and was captured by the lab's robot arm to complete a smooth rendezvous.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst, operating the Canadian-built arm, locked onto a grapple fixture on the side of the cargo ship at 6:52 a.m. EDT (GMT-4).

A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship, the fourth operational mission launched under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA, was attached to the International Space Station Tuesday, bringing some 2.5 tons of supplies, equipment and research gear to the lab complex. (Credit: NASA TV)

"Alex, Reid, outstanding capture," astronaut Serena Aunon radioed from mission control in Houston. "Well done capturing that Dragon."

"This was indeed a great flight of the Dragon toward the station and we're happy to have a new vehicle on board," Gerst replied. "We would like to congratulate all the teams on the ground, at SpaceX, at NASA, all our trainers, for making the first part of the mission so successful."

With the cargo ship firmly in hand, Gerst handed off operation of the robot arm to flight controllers in Houston who remotely pulled the capsule in and lined it up for berthing at the Earth-facing port of the forward Harmony module. Once in place, motorized bolts drove home in the common berthing mechanism to lock the spacecraft to Harmony at 9:21 a.m.