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Dragon spacecraft to attempt docking ISS on Friday

MOSCOW, May 25 — The first private U.S. cargo spacecraft, the Dragon, will make an attempt on Friday to dock with the International Space Station (ISS), a spokesman for the Mission Control said.

The launch vehicle Falcon 9 with the Dragon spacecraft was launched to the ISS on Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in the United States.

The spokesman said the Dragon will be docked with the use of a 17-meter long manipulator Canadarm, which will be operated by U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit from the ISS.

The approximate time of the docking is 19:05 Moscow time (15:05 GMT) on Friday, he added.

The Dragon is a reusable spacecraft developed by SpaceX to fly cargo to the ISS after NASA retired its space shuttle fleet last year.

The firm also hopes in future to carry U.S. astronauts to and from the orbital station.

At present, NASA pays Russia a hefty $ 63 million for every astronaut who flies to the ISS aboard Soyuz spacecraft.(PNA/RIA Novosti) scs/LOR/ebp

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