In the next few days, if all goes well, the Dragon capsule will close on the ISS, make several maneuvers to prove its ability to move in close to the station safely, receive the okay to approach, and be snagged by the ISS robotic arm for docking. The capsule will be unloaded (1000 pounds of clothes, food, and student science experiments) and then filled with finished experiments and equipment for the first ever return to earth for reuse. No other automated cargo module (from other government space agencies) is capable of this feat.
This may begin a new era of spaceflight for the United States. Good luck to the whole SpaceX/NASA team.
If you are interested, you can see a 15 minute film of this flight at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch53huvkmKw
Update 5/24/12: Tonight at around 11:55 pm, the Dragon capsule will pull within 2 1/2 km of the ISS for the first time. If all goes well, Friday NASA will give SpaceX the go ahead to approach close enough for the ISS crew to reach out and retrieve the capsule for docking. This brings us a small step closer to the future of 2001: A Space Odyssey in which Pan Am shuttles took passengers to awaiting orbiting stations on the way to destinations on the Moon and elsewhere. (I wonder if a commercial enterprise ran the giant rotating space station as well?)
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