* Capsule hauls supplies, ice cream to orbital outpost
* SpaceX plans 11 more supply runs to space station
* Second U.S. supplier preparing to test rocket
(Adds completion of docking) By Irene Klotz
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 10 (Reuters) - Astronauts pluckeda commercial cargo ship from orbit on Wednesday and attached itto the International Space Station, marking the reopening of aU.S. supply line to the orbital outpost following the spaceshuttles' retirement last year.
After a 2-1/2 day trip, Space Exploration Technologies'Dragon cargo ship positioned itself 33 feet (10 meters) awayfrom the $100 billion research complex, a project of 15countries, which has been dependent on Russian, European andJapanese freighters for supplies.
Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide then used the space station's58-foot-long (17.7-meter) robotic arm to grab hold of a grapplefixture on the side of the capsule at 6:56 a.m. EDT (1056 GMT)as the spacecraft flew 250 miles (402 km) above the PacificOcean, off the coast of Baja California in northwest Mexico.
"Looks like we tamed the Dragon," commander Sunita Williamsradioed to Mission Control in Houston.
"We're happy she's on board with us. Thanks to everybody atSpaceX and NASA for bringing her here to us. And the ice cream,"she said.
The Dragon's cargo includes a freezer to ferry sciencesamples back and forth between the station and Earth. For theflight up, it was packed with chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream,a rare treat for an orbiting crew.
Williams and Hoshide attached the capsule to a docking porton the station's Harmony connecting module at 9:03 a.m. EDT(1303 GMT).
It is expected to remain docked to the station for about 18days while the crew unloads its 882 pounds (400 kg) of cargo andfills it with science experiments and equipment no longer neededon the outpost.
The flight is the first of 12 planned under a $1.6 billioncontract NASA placed with privately owned Space ExplorationTechnologies, or SpaceX, to deliver cargo to the station.
The U.S. space agency's second supplier, Orbital SciencesCorp , plans to debut its Antares rocket later this year.A demonstration run to the station is planned for February orMarch.
NASA also is working with SpaceX, Boeing Co andprivately owned Sierra Nevada Corp to design space taxis thatcan fly crew to and from the station, with the goal of breakingRussia's monopoly on those flights by 2017.
(Editing by Tom Brown and Eric Beech)
Keywords: USA SPACE/SPACEX