SpaceX Dragon docks with International Space Station carrying new gear

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches its Cargo Dragon spacecraft on NASA's CRS 29 mission to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday. The Dragon successfully docked with the ISS on Saturday. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station on Saturday carrying equipment for the station's crew.

The Dragon docked with the ISS's Harmony module at 5:07 a.m., according to NASA.

The Dragon was launched Thursday from Launch Complex 39A at Florida's Kennedy Space Center atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

The spacecraft carried 6,500 pounds of supplies and gear to the crew on the station, including ILLUMA-T technology, which will be used to test laser-based communications systems. The system will send data to NASA's Laser Communications Relay Demonstration system, which is in geosynchronous orbit around the Earth.

According to NASA, "the ILLUMA-T demonstration also paves the way for placing laser communications terminals on spacecraft orbiting the Moon or Mars."

The Atmospheric Wave Experiment, meanwhile, will "measure the characteristics, distribution, and movement of atmospheric gravity waves," while the Guacho Lung system will measure the effects of the respiratory system's mucus lining on drugs that are injected via liquid.

The European Space Agency's Aquamembrane-3 system will also be tested to see if it can replace the station's Aquaporin Inside Membrane water recovery multi-filtration bed system.

The Dragon also brought a bag of tools to replace one that floated away during a previous spacewalk Nov. 2.

According to Russia's Roscosmos space agency, a Russian Progress spacecraft, which is docked with the station, performed a burn for about five minutes Friday to avoid debris.

"The engines of the cargo spacecraft were turned on at 18:07 Moscow time. They worked for 316.5 seconds and gave an impulse of 0.5m/s. As a result, according to preliminary data, the altitude of the ISS orbit was increased by 900m," Roscosmos said in a Telegram post.

NASA provided live coverage of the docking.