Twelve minutes after successfully reaching orbit, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft deployed its solar arrays.
"We've never actually had solar arrays deploy in space, so it's the first time," SpaceX CEO and chief designer Elon Musk said during a post-launch press conference. "A number of things could have gone wrong, but everything went right."
The two 54-foot (16.5-meter) tip-to-tip wings power the navigation and communication instruments the Dragon will use to rendezvous with the International Space Station.
[i][b]Above[/b]: View from SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft looking outward at one of two solar array panels in the process of deploying.[/i]
Many of those instruments were covered for launch under a pod bay door, which needed to open were the mission to continue as planned.
The door was commanded open at 5:34 a.m. CDT (1034 GMT) without problem. Opening the bay exposed the sensors the Dragon will use to approach the station, as well as the grapple fixture where the Canadarm2 will attach to berth the spacecraft on the Harmony node.
"[The] Dragon spaceship opens the navigation pod bay door without hesitation. So much nicer than HAL9000," Musk wrote on Twitter.
Initial tests of the spacecraft's star trackers and laser-ranging system (LIDAR) have returned positive results.
"There are still a thousand things that have to go right, but we are looking forward to this exciting mission," Alan Lindemoyer, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program, said.