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May 24, 2012

Spacex clears last tests and ready to dock with International Space Station on Friday

NASA - SpaceX completed a final height adjustment burn of the Dragon capsule at 8:09 a.m. EDT to depart the vicinity of the International Space Station. Dragon now begins its “racetrack” trajectory to re-approach the station for grapple and berthing attempts on Friday

WSJ - The Spacex Dragon capsule appeared to flawlessly complete a series of maneuvers around the international space station Thursday, clearing the last major hurdle before a historic docking attempt planned for Friday.

The tests demonstrated that sensors, navigation equipment, communications links and computer-controlled propulsion systems aboard the Dragon capsule were all working properly.

The so-called fly-under maneuver commanded the cone-shaped capsule—built and operated by Space Exploration Technologies Corp.—to catch up to and then pass the space station. The highlight of the test, occurring before 7:30 a.m. Eastern time, had the spacecraft float by about 1.5 miles below the station.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials said preliminary indications were that Dragon's thrusters, laser-assisted sensors and thermal imaging instruments seemed to pass the preliminary rendezvous tests with flying colors, but analysis of the data was expected to continue through the day.

Video of SpaceX Dragon Closing in on Space Station

Dragon as seen by the space station




Video of the Spacex Launch



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