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Space Station Crew Captures Dragon Cargo Capsule

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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station successfully carried out a successful robot arm capture of the latest SpaceX Dragon re-supply capsule as it rendezvoused with the orbiting science laboratory early Tuesday.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst made the grapple with the station's 58 foot long Canadian robot arm at 6:52 a.m., EDT, while he was positioned at a control console in the Cupola observation deck. NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman was at his side to assist.

Dragon Commercial Resupply Services 4 capsule in the grasp of the International Space Station's robot arm. NASA

"Outstanding," announced NASA's Mission Control Center. "Well done, capturing that Dragon."

Dragon lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Sunday at 1:52 a.m., EDT, with just under 5,000 pounds of crew supplies, science experiments and technology demonstration hardware. It is scheduled to remain berthed to the space station for a month before it departs for Earth with 3,200 pounds of research gear and no longer needed equipment.

The re-supply mission is the fourth for SpaceX under a $1.6 billion, 12 flight contract awarded by NASA's ISS program in late 2008. SpaceX carried out a successful demonstration cargo delivery as well under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transporation Services program in 2012.

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