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Recycled SpaceX Dragon capsule makes second delivery to space station

SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo ship approaches the International Space Station (ISS) on April 17, 2015, in this still from a camera on the job lab on the outside. This same Dragon arrived at the space station on Dec. 17, 2017.

(NASA TV)

A used SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International space station for the second time on Sunday (Dec. 17), delivering more than 2 tons of the NASA delivers just in time for Christmas.

The uncrewed Dragon capsule was captured by the astronauts using the space station’s robotic arm at 5:57 a.m. EST as the two spacecraft sailed 252 miles above the Pacific Ocean between Australia and Papua New Guinea. [See photos for the Dragon cargo launch]

“It’s a great day to see Dragon back to the ISS again,” spacecraft communicator Leslie Ringo over the radio for the International Space Station (ISS) and the crew from NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston. SpaceX launches the Dragon capsule on Friday (Dec. 15).

“It is a beautiful spaceship and we’re looking forward to digging in and getting some science on board,” astronaut Joe Acaba of NASA replied from the station. Acaba was assisted crew member Mark Vande Hei, who controlled the station’s arm during the Dragon catch.

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Sunday arrival is marked with the second cargo delivery mission for SpaceX and the Dragon capsule. The last visit to the station in April 2015. SpaceX also reused in the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket launched the Dragon, with the booster landing on a pad on the occasion of the holding of the 20th successful landing. SpaceX has its reusable rocket technology for lowering the cost of space travel.

For this mission, SpaceX’s 13th station resupply flight for NASA, the Dragon delivered almost 4,800 kg. of supplies and scientific equipment for the astronauts on the space station. Dragon will stay at the space station until mid-January, when he will return to Earth and splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, which SpaceX and NASA to restore the experiment results and other stuff.

Today the Dragon’s arrival capped a busy day for the International Space Station. A few hours earlier, at 2:21 pm EST, a Russian Soyuz rocket launched three new crewmembers to the orbiting lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige “Neemo” Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Scott “Maker” Tingle, NASA launched aboard a Soyuz space capsule and will join the station’s Expedition 54 crew later this week. The trio is scheduled to dock to the international space station early Tuesday (Dec. 19), 3:43 pm EST.

E-mail Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him on @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom , Facebook and Google+ . Original article on Space.com .

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