After a weather delay pushed back the launch of SpaceX’s resupply mission to the International Space Station, NASA had to tweak its plans slightly, but after a successful launch over the weekend, you can now watch the SpaceX Dragon capsule be captured by the ISS live, thanks to NASA’s video stream.
The Dragon capsule is currently loaded with several thousands of pounds of supplies, as well as mice and fruit flies which will be used in zero-gravity testing and observation.
As the Dragon capsule inches closer and closer to the space station, the craft’s robotic arm will position itself to snag the SpaceX hardware, and then position it to be connected directly to the space station. That process can take hours, and the methodical process of berthing is one of those double-check, triple-check procedures where nothing can be left to chance.
This is now the second time this particular SpaceX cargo vehicle has been sent to the space station, which is an all-time first for both SpaceX and NASA. The company is now one of NASA’s primary contractors for missions to the International Space Station, and its reusable hardware — and reduced operating costs — are one of the primary reasons for that partnership.