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'Dragon is ours!' astronaut says as unmanned cargo capsule lands

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Florida Today
Sunday, March 3, 2013, 9:09 p.m.
 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX Dragon unmanned freighter is moored at the International Space Station in a two-day trip initially marred by steering thruster trouble.

A day late because of the problems, the spacecraft's high-flying arrival took place on Sunday 253 miles above northern Ukraine, much to the delight of the six astronauts and cosmonauts onboard the complex.

“The Dragon is ours!” tweeted Chris Hadfield, who next week will become the first Canadian to command the space station. “Look forward to new smells. Great!”

Among the supplies: something fresh and nutritious from a California orchard run by the father of a SpaceX employee, company president Gwynne Shotwell said.

On the space station, fruit is a rare commodity. The primary sustenance is an MRE, or meal-ready-to-eat.

Hadfield, a former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, said he was looking forward to going into Dragon's “belly.”

Later Sunday, Hadfield tweeted, “Opened the hatch to find fresh fruit, notes from friends and peanut butter.”

Launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Dragon is carrying more than a ton of supplies and scientific research equipment.

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