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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Space X's Dragon Capsule Passes Critical Orbital Test

The unmanned SpaceX Dragon capsule flew within one and a half miles of the orbiting lab as it performed a practice lap and checkout of its communication and navigation systems.

Officials at NASA and the SpaceX company said the rendezvous went well, although the test results still were being analyzed. The historic linkup is on track for Friday.

It is the first U.S. vessel to visit the space station since NASA's shuttles retired last summer — and the first private spacecraft to ever attempt a delivery. The Dragon is carrying 1,000 pounds of provisions.

The space station astronauts struggled with bad computer monitors and camera trouble as the Dragon zoomed toward them, but the problem did not hold up the operation. Indeed, all of the tests appeared to go well.

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