After a 24-hour delay due to a navigation software glitch, SpaceX's Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station on Thursday, Feb. 24, NASA officials confirmed.

The Dragon spacecraft safely completed a 400-kilometer journey to the orbiting satellite to deliver more than 2,500 kilograms (5,500 pounds) of supplies. On Feb. 19, Dragon lifted off into space from the historic Pad 39A from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission was temporarily postponed after an incorrect value was found in the ship's GPS system, but engineers from SpaceX quickly fixed the issue. As soon as it arrived, astronauts at the space station grabbed Dragon using a robotic arm.

Cargo Resupply Mission

Dragon took four days to deliver its cargo supplies, which included hauling food rations, science experiments, and equipment that would repair the space station.

Officials from NASA said Dragon was grappled by the Canadian-built robotic arm at 5:44 a.m. EST on Feb. 23, a few minutes earlier than the expected timeline.

"Great job with Dragon capture, and sorry about the delays," said Mike Hopkins, a NASA astronaut from mission control. "Now the real work starts."

Given the delayed arrival of the cargo supply, astronauts must open Dragon's load immediately to retrieve sensitive experiments.

Scientific Equipment And Technology

One of the scientific investigations part of the cargo supply was a manifest that included 40 mice, which will be used in examining bone healing in microgravity. Experts said this can have great implications for patients with osteoporosis or those who have severe bone injuries.

Rasha Hammamieh, chief project researcher of this rodent study, said what they aim to do is understand what happens in the body as bones begin to heal.

Melissa Kacena, co-researcher of the experiment, said space can decrease a person's bone density. In fact, astronauts such as Scott Kelly lose about 1 to 3 percent of their bone density in just a month.

"Someone with advanced osteoporosis loses closer to 1 percent per year," added Kacena.

The cargo supply had also included a superbug called MRSA, which scientists will observe, as well as a $92 million experiment called SAGE 3.

This stands for Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment 3. Astronauts will use this equipment to monitor the layers of the upper atmosphere and contribute to ozone layer research. It is designed to track particles and pollutants that are suspended above Earth.

Dragon's arrival at the space station is the first in a series of cargo resupply missions in the next month. On March 19, a cargo vessel from Orbital will be launched from Cape Canaveral for another delivery mission.

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