The Madeleine Brand Show for May 24, 2012

What's next for the Space X capsule?

SpaceX Rocket To Become The First Non-Governmental Vehicle To Reach Int'l Space Station

Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images

Space X's Dragon spacecraft atop rocket Falcon 9 lifts off from Pad 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Titusville, Florida.

The private company Space X is busy performing a series of tests on its Dragon capsule. That orbiter was launched into space earlier this week and reached the International Space Station this morning.

Floating about a mile and a half from the I.S.S., the Dragon capsule shows up as a tiny speck in pictures taken from the station. Space X technicians are running a series of checks on the capsule's thrusters and laser sensors.

If all goes well, the capsule will dock at the station, and astronauts will climb in and pull out about 1000 pounds of cargo, including food and clothing.

Space X's Dragon capsule is the first private ship to ever perform this kind of resupply mission. Company founder Elon Musk tweeted yesterday that he received a congratulatory call from the President.

"...Caller ID was blocked, so at first I thought it was a telemarketer," wrote Musk.


Sanden Totten, reporter and producer at KPCC.

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