HAWTHORNE, California — SpaceX made history moments ago by becoming the first private company to link a capsule to the International Space Station. The station’s robotic arm grabbed the unmanned Dragon capsule at 8:56 a.m. CDT. high over Australia.
The successful docking is a major step forward in the dual path space strategy pushed by the Obama administration. Under the plan, private companies such as SpaceX will supply and ultimately ferry astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit while NASA focuses on deep space. SpaceX also takes the lead in the race to be one of NASA’s key commercial partners.