WASHINGTON -- SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station on June 5, carrying for the first time an experiment independently designed by China and also supplies for the astronauts living in the orbiting laboratory.
NASA astronauts Jack Fischer reached out with the space station’s robotic arm and grappled the spacecraft at 9:52 am EDT (1352 GMT), as the space station was flying over the South Atlantic Ocean, just east off the coast of Argentina.
Dragon carried almost 6,000 pounds (2,700 kg) of cargo for its 11th commercial resupply mission for NASA, including solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.
Among the cargo is a 3.5-kg device from the Beijing Institute of Technology that aims to investigate how the space radiation and microgravity environment affect the DNA.
The deal for the delivery was reached in 2015 with NanoRacks, a Houston-based company that offers services for the commercial utilization of the space station.
A US legislation known as the Wolf amendment bans cooperation between NASA and Chinese government entities, but the deal is purely commercial and therefore considered legal.
Dragon, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on June 3, was expected to remain docked with the space station until early July.