A capsule launched by Elon Musk’s Space X successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) today as part of its demonstration mission.
The Dragon vehicle made the attachment autonomously having launched on Saturday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The 4.9 metre tall capsule contained a dummy called Ripley and 90kg of supplies.
It was part of a series of tests the capsule must pass to get approval from Nasa to carry astronauts into space.
The capsule separated as planned from the rocket around 11 minutes after its launch, prompting celebration in the control room, and headed towards the ISS.
“I almost thought we would fail. I thought maybe we’d have a 10 per cent chance of reaching orbit starting out,” Silicon Valley billionaire Musk said of his feelings when he founded the space company in 2002.
“I’m a little emotionally exhausted because that was super stressful, but it worked,” he said.
The space agency has given Space X and Boeing $6.8bn to build competing rockets and capsules to send astronauts into orbit from US soil for the first time since the US Space Shuttle was retired from service in 2011.
Either Space X or Boeing will have bragging rights as the first private company to launch humans into space on its own rocket.