CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has made good on a high-priority delivery: the world's first inflatable room for astronauts.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, two days after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Station astronauts used a big robot arm to capture the Dragon, orbiting 260 miles above the Pacific.
The Dragon holds 7,000 pounds of freight, including the soft-sided compartment built by Bigelow Aerospace.
The pioneering pod — packed tightly for launch — should swell to the size of a small bedroom once filled with air. It will be attached to the space station next weekend. But it won't be inflated until the end of May.
This is SpaceX's first delivery for NASA in a year. A launch accident last June put shipments on hold.