SpaceX's Crew Dragon makes history with successful docking at the ISS

Katie Ramirez
June 2, 2020

The network, which was carrying audio from NASA on a delay, was still running the countdown to launch as viewers watched the rocket carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley flying into the atmosphere.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will hold a news conference at 3:15 p.m. EDT from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to discuss the successful docking of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley must wait a few more hours, though, for tests to be carried out to ensure that the seals between the spacecraft and the space station are airtight.

Earlier on May 31 at 12:52 AM IST, Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk-owned SpaceX created history by becoming the first private rocket company to launch two American astronauts toward orbit from Florida, in their second attempt after the first one was deferred due to the poor weather conditions.

Compared to the high drama of the launch on Saturday, the docking may have seemed like a slow burn. However, Behnken noted that both he and Hurley were expecting that.

The Dragon Has Landed! Elon Musk's SpaceX Spacecraft Arrives at Space Station
The crew will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew. Hurley and Behnken had named their capsule " Endeavour " after the retired Space Shuttle on which they both flew.

"This certification and regular operation of Crew Dragon will enable NASA to continue the important research and technology investigations taking place on board the station, which benefits people on Earth and lays the groundwork for future exploration of the moon and Mars starting with the agency's Artemis program, which will land the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface in 2024".

The duration of their stay on the Space Station is yet to be determined. The launch on Saturday also assumes significance as it was the first manned flight from U.S. soil in almost a decade.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) on Saturday launched the first astronauts into space from USA soil for nearly a decade.

While they're there, the Dragon test pilots will join NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian station residents in performing experiments and possibly spacewalks to install fresh station batteries.

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