At 0953 UTC on Saturday morning, 26 May 2012, the hatch on Dragon was opened by Don Petitt aboard the International Space Station. The ISS was 253 miles above the Earth, near Auckland New Zealand.

The crew installed the air ducts and started the airflow to mix the air from Dragon with the ISS and remove any dust or debris that might get in the eyes or lungs.

At this point the following exchange took place with cap com:

Don: “No sign of fog or dust floating, so ok to remove our masks. Cargo size looks like it can fit in my pickup, and it smells like a new car.”

Megan: “We ask you to wear your dust masks per flight rules.”

So, the crew was anxious to get started unloading, but Megan Benken at Cap Com says follow the rules.

Petitt later stated from inside the Dragon: “We all remember the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which opened up the western frontier of the United States and it was celebrated by pounding in a Golden Spike. This is sort of the equivalent of the Golden Spike. One other interesting detail: nobody remembers who pounded that Golden Spike in. The important thing to remember was that the railroad was completed and was now open for use to help settle the western frontier.”

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