A SpaceX shipment sent Saturday to the International Space Station was intercepted on Monday morning by Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques using the Canadian-built Canadarm 2 robotic arm.
It was David Saint-Jacques’ very first “space catch”. The astronaut had, however, assisted his colleague Anne McClain two weeks ago to catch another cargo ship.
“Welcome on board, Dragon,” Saint-Jacques radioed. Speaking in both English and French, he congratulated ground teams for their help and said he’s proud every time the station’s 18-metre (58-foot) Canadian robot arm is used in orbit.
“Well done, well captured. Way to make it look easy,” Mission Control said.
Checkout this incredible time lapse video of this morning's capture of the @SpaceX Dragon cargo craft by astronaut @Astro_DavidS of @CSA_ASC, backed up by @AstroHague of @NASA. #AskNASA | https://t.co/cBNqC5JGaz pic.twitter.com/IUp0FnpoW2
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) May 6, 2019
Two and a half tons of cargo
The Dragon capsule, which was propelled into space by a Falcon 9 rocket, contained 2,500 kilograms of cargo, including 1.2 million tomato seeds.
These seeds will be sent back to Earth with the capsule in one month. They will be given to students whose mission will be to grow them as part of the Tomatosphere educational project.
It’s not too late for #Tomatosphere™! You can still spring into action and sign-up for Tomatosphere™ this year!
— Tomatosphere™ (@Tomatosphere) April 27, 2019
During their scientific experiment, they will measure and compare the growth of the various seeds.
The capsule is also expected to bring back blood and air samples for a Canadian study on changes in astronauts’ bone marrow in space.
SpaceX’s 17th delivery to the ISS
This was the second flight of the Dragon Capsule. The spacecraft has a small space station emblem on its side indicating its previews flight in 2017.
It was SpaceX’s 17th delivery to the International Space Station since it started in 2012. The Dragon capsules are the only ones capable of coming back to Earth intact.
Northrop Grumman is NASA’s other shipper; its Cygnus cargo ship arrived just two weeks ago.
Besides one Canadian, the space station is home to three Americans and two Russians.
With files from The Associated Press, Reuters and NASA