Technology & Science

Dragon capsule docks at space station

A private, unmanned spacecraft owned by Space Exploration Technologies has reached the International Space Station to deliver supplies.

Hadfield tweets unmanned spacecraft brought fruit, peanut butter and notes from home

After a shaky start, the commercial supply ship Dragon has docked at the International Space Station with the help of a Canadian robotics arm. 2:35

The commercial supply ship Dragon has arrived at the International Space Station after a shaky start.

Station astronauts used a Canadian robotics arm on Sunday morning to latch onto the supply ship.

The California-based SpaceX company had to struggle with the Dragon following Friday's launch from the Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida.

A clogged pressure line or stuck valve prevented the Dragon's thrusters from working, and it took flight controllers several hours to gain control and salvage the mission.

In the end, the Dragon arrived just a day late with its one-tonne load, which includes fresh fruit, new clothes and other supplies for the six men on board the space station.

Among other items on board: 640 seeds of a flowering weed used for research, mouse stem cells, trash bags, computer equipment, air purifiers, spacewalking tools and batteries.

"Canadarm2 holds Dragon by the nose, to drag it up and hook it on to a Station hatch," tweeted Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. (Chris Hadfield/Twitter)

"What a day! Reached & grabbed a Dragon, berthed her to Station & opened the hatch to find fresh fruit, notes from friends, and peanut butter," Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted from the station. Hadfield tweeted updates on the Dragon's status throughout the day, including multiple photos of the crew using the robotic arm to bring it in.

The capsule will remain at the station for most of the month before returning to Earth with science samples. It is due to splash down in the Pacific on March 25.

SpaceX has a billion-dollar contract with NASA to keep the station stocked.

This mission is the Dragon's third visit to the ISS and the second commercial supply run to the station out of a planned series of 12.

With files from CBC News