Space station welcomes 1st returning vehicle since shuttle

The International Space Station has welcomed its first returning vehicle in six years — a SpaceX Dragon making a repeat delivery.

The Dragon supply ship pulled up Monday, two days after launching from Florida. This same capsule dropped off a shipment in 2014. SpaceX recycled it for an unprecedented second trip.

Until their 2011 retirement, NASA’s shuttles made multiple flights to the space station. But it’s the first time a private company has achieved such a feat. The Americans on the space station — Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson — used a robot arm to capture the Dragon as the craft soared above the South Atlantic.

This new 6,000-pound shipment includes live lab animals: 40 mice, 400 adult fruit flies and 2,000 fruit fly eggs that should hatch any day.

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