U.S. SpaceX's 'used' spacecraft arrives at space station

Updated 2017-12-18 08:30:17 Xinhua

A used cargo spacecraft from private U.S. company SpaceX returned to the International Space Station on Sunday, more than two years after its first visit to the orbiting laboratory.

The Dragon spacecraft, which was previously used in a similar cargo resupply mission in April 2015, was captured by U.S. astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba at 5:57 a.m. EST (1057 GMT) using the station's robotic arm.

About two and a half hours later, it was attached to the space station's Harmony module.

It was the second SpaceX cargo capsule which flew to the space station a second time. SpaceX's first "used" Dragon back to space occurred in June this year.

The cargo spacecraft lifted off from the southern U.S. state of Florida on Friday. It is the 13th of up to 20 missions to the space station that SpaceX will fly for the U.S. space agency NASA under a multi-year commercial resupply services contract.

For this mission, Dragon carried 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg) of research equipment, crew supplies and station hardware to support investigations including experiments on muscle wasting, plant growth in low gravity, and the microorganisms inhabiting the space station.

The spacecraft was scheduled to depart the space station in January 2018.

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