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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics



    AIAA Congratulates SpaceX on the Successful Capture of its Dragon Capsule by the International Space Station
    Historic Event Marks First Time a Privately Developed Cargo Delivery Vehicle Reaches ISS


    May 25, 2012 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) congratulates Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) on the successful capture of its Dragon capsule by the International Space Station (ISS).

    The capsule, launched on May 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., was captured by the robotic arm of the ISS at 9:56 a.m. EDT. The historic event marks the first time that a privately developed cargo delivery vehicle has successfully reached the ISS. The ISS crew is expected to open the spacecraft hatch on Saturday, accessing the cargo of food, clothing, student experiments, and other equipment.

    AIAA President Michael Griffin noted: “The consummation of the SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon demonstration flight, with today’s perfectly executed series of ISS proximity operations maneuvers and subsequent capture and berthing by astronaut Don Pettit, is a true milestone in the history of spaceflight. Never before has a contractor team operating without government oversight and direction accomplished such a complex design, development, and operations task and done it so well. The launch and orbital mission of Dragon has been accomplished with every bit as much professional style as might be hoped. My hat is off to the team which has demonstrated this marvelous feat, and my fingers are crossed for a successful reentry and landing to complete the mission.”


    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit