Dragon Closing in on ISS – UPDATE 6 — Dragon is Captured

Dragon Closing in on ISS – UPDATE 6 — Dragon is Captured

UPDATE 6:  Capture!   NASA astronaut Don Pettit captured the Dragon spacecraft with Canadarm2 at 9:56 am EDT.  The first commercial spacecraft to visit the International Space Station.

UPDATE 5:  Amazing video on NASA TV as Dragon holds at 10 meters from ISS.   NASA astronaut Don Pettit is about to reach out with Canadarm2 to grapple it.

UPDATE 4:  Dragon’s approach to ISS has resumed.  The latest estimate for grapple is 10:02 am EDT according to a tweet from Kennedy Space Center. 

UPDATE 3:  Stressing that it’s an estimate, NASA says newest possible grapple time to ensure it occurs in daylight is 10:40 am EDT.   Dragon has resumed its approach to ISS after SpaceX narrowed the field of view of its LIDAR.  It will hold again at 30 meters, then get permission to proceed to 10 meters, the distance at which the crew can grapple it with Canadarm2.

UPDATE 2:  SpaceX commanded Dragon to retreat from ISS.  At 8:40 am EDT it is holding 70 meters from the ISS.  SpaceX determined that Dragon’s LIDAR was locking onto a retroreflector on Japan’s JEM module instead of the correct one.  They are working on the problem.

UPDATE:   NASA and SpaceX are taking it one step at a time, pushing the grapple time out.  The most recent projection was that it would occur at 9:10 am EDT instead of 8:06 am, but that time also may slip.  Follow us on Twitter for up to the moment coverage @SpcPlcyOnline.   NASA and SpaceX (and many others) also are tweeting.  Search #Dragon.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft is closing in on the International Space Station.   About 7:20 am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), NASA gave approval for Dragon to move inside the “keep out” zone, but also decided to then hold at 150 meters.

All the action is being followed live by NASA TV.  SpaceX said yesterday it would begin coverage at 7:30 am EDT.  Follow us on Twitter @SpcPlcyOnline.

What impact, if any, the unplanned hold at 150 meters may have on the time that astronauts will grapple Dragon with Canadarm2 is unclear. Grapple had been expected at 8:06 am EDT.

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