On May 25, 2012 at 16:02 UTC the first private U.S. unmanned supply spacecraft, the Dragon, was successfully docked to the International Space Station.
The linkup operation was carried out by astronauts Donald Pettit (USA) and Andre Kuipers (the Netherlands) with the help of the giant 17-meter Canadarm that had earlier (at 13:56 UTC) grabbed the Dragon capsule.
The Dragon is a reusable spacecraft developed by SpaceX company to fly cargo to the ISS after NASA retired its space shuttle fleet last year.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, is a space transport company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk. In the future the firm also hopes to carry U.S. astronauts to and from the orbital station.
The hatches between the Dragon spacecraft and the Harmony module of the International Space Station were opened by NASA Astronaut Don Pettit at 09:53 UTC.
Flight Engineers D.Pettit, A.Kuipers and J.Acaba are inside the Dragon spacecraft.Photo by NASA.