Spx-16_approachDecember 8, 2018: An unmanned Dragon cargo resupply vehicle once again successfully reached the International Space Station (ISS) this afternoon, making it the sixteenth Dragon to reach the orbiting outpost. Flying for NASA under the Commercial Resupply Services contract, SpaceX’s Dragon launched from Cape Canaveral atop a Falcon 9 rocket on December 5th, reaching ISS after a three-day journey. It was captured via robotic arm today at 12:21 UTC, completing the first portion of its mission. The Dragon capsule for this mission was previously flown to the ISS for the CRS-10 mission, accomplished in February 2017. SpX-16 is the first of five missions as part of a contract extension awarded to SpaceX. The primary payload for this mission was the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation Lidar (GEDI), a satellite that is hoping to help climate change scientists better understand the relationship between deforestation and atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations.

Odyssey personnel supported from the Mission Control Complex at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX throughout the rendezvous and capture. Dragon will remain attached to ISS for approximately a month before departing for a controlled atmospheric re-entry and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean for retrieval. Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team!

For more information, visit the SpaceX website: http://www.spacex.com