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SpaceX supply ship flies by International Space Station in test

May 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The SpaceX Dragon capsule has completed a critical test, flying very close to the International Space Station without stopping.

The unmanned capsule flew within 1.5 miles of the orbiting lab. It's a practice lap to checkout its communication and navigation systems.

Officials at NASA and SpaceX said the rendezvous went well, although the test results are still being analyzed.

The historic docking of the capsule is still on track for Friday. It would be the first U.S. vessel to visit the space station since NASA's shuttles retired last summer - and the first private spacecraft to ever attempt a delivery.

The Dragon is carrying 1,000 pounds of provisions, including food, clothes, batteries and other space station gear.

The space station and Dragon will be visible to Earthlings in select locations in the pre-dawn hours Friday, while flying tandem just prior to their linkup 250 miles above the planet. Among the many U.S. cities with viewing opportunities if skies are clear: New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and Jacksonville, Fla.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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