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SpaceX shipment reaches space station after weekend launch

09 May 2019

Over the weekend, SpaceX launched its Dragon cargo spacecraft packed with supplies for the International Space Station.

The Dragon capsule reached the orbiting complex Monday, delivering 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of equipment and experiments.

Mr Saint-Jacques later described to NASA colleagues on Earth it was "a big moment of pride" to grab the Dragon using the station's 58ft (18m) robot arm. An external cable that normally comes off during launch dangled from the capsule, but did not interfere with the grappling. Speaking in both English and French, he congratulated ground teams for their help and said he's proud every time the station's 58-foot (18-meter) Canadian robot arm is used in orbit.

The astronaut became the first Canadian to use it to grab a visiting spacecraft, described as "a cosmic catch", by the Canadian Space Agency. "Way to make it look easy".

"To be at the controls myself, after all these years of training, it was a very, very special moment - and, fortunately, it all went well".

Kenny Todd, International Space Station Operations and Integration manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, explained during the postlaunch press conference that launch success far overshadowed fatigue with the early morning launch. The trip is the 17th SpaceX supply mission to the crewed satellite.

This latest cargo Dragon - marking the company's 17th shipment - is carrying equipment and experiments for the six space station astronauts, including an instrument to monitor carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket takes off loaded with a Dragon cargo craft during a resupply mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 4, 2019. SpaceX's spacecraft is one of six spaceships now docked with the ISS, joining Russia's Progress 71 and 72 resupply ships, the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships, and the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter.

The Dragon will return to Earth from ISS with the help of a heat shield and parachutes.

SpaceX shipment reaches space station after weekend launch