News Wrap: International Space Station Grasps SpaceX ‘Dragon’ Capsule
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KWAME HOLMAN: Wall Street went into the long weekend on a cautious note amid bank troubles in Europe and slowing growth in Asia. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 75 points to close below 12,455. The Nasdaq fell nearly two points to close at 2,837. But, for the week, the Dow gained seven-tenths of a percent; the Nasdaq rose 2 percent.
The typical chief executive officer at a major firm made more than $9 million last year, breaking previous records. The Associated Press reported today that U.S. companies also had record profits. For those in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, profits were up 16 percent in 2011. And CEOs got about 6 percent more in compensation, due in part to receiving more stock awards.
For the first time, a privately built spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station today. The unmanned SpaceX Dragon capsule was captured by the station’s robot arm in a rendezvous high over Australia. Ground crews at both NASA and SpaceX cheered and high-fived when the capsule finally berthed.
Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, spoke in a video link from the company’s mission control in Hawthorne, California.
ELON MUSK, CEO, SpaceX: We’re incredibly excited. In fact, I mean, really, I don’t have words enough to express the level of excitement and elation that we feel here at SpaceX. This really is, I think, going to be recognized as a significantly historical step forward in space travel, and hopefully the first of many to come.
KWAME HOLMAN: Once its cargo is unloaded, the Dragon will return to earth. SpaceX has a contract to make a dozen more delivery runs.
In Syria, anti-government activists reported, an army assault killed at least 50 people in the central part of the country. The report said 13 of the victims were children. They said troops opened fire and began shelling after protests near the city of Homs.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.