A privately-owned cargo spacecraft
has successfully reached the International Space Station
, delivering a half-ton of supplies in its first official shipment for the U.S. space agency NASA.
The ISS astronauts used a giant robotic arm to grab hold of SpaceX's Dragon
capsule early Wednesday. Space station commander Sunita Williams announced to NASA's Mission Control in Houston, Texas, that they had "tamed the dragon" when the capsule was secured.
capsule is expected to stay at the International Space Station for about two and a half weeks.
California-based SpaceX is under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA that will require Dragon
to make 11 additional supply shipments to the station. NASA is working with SpaceX to design capsules that can also carry astronauts.
NASA's second commercial supplier, Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation, is scheduled to debut its Antares
rocket and Cygnus
spacecraft later this year.
The United States retired its shuttle fleet last year.