NASA astronauts describe 'smooth' docking after SpaceX launch

Ruben Fields
June 3, 2020

It was the first crewed flight from United States soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

According to Behnken, although the first stage of the takeoff process was smooth, the second stage of Crew Dragon's ascent via SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was a bit rougher than NASA's previous Space Shuttle missions. "Reasonably subtle, following the two guys, and it even had the classic" new vehicle smell", according to Chris Cassidy, the current commander of the International Space Station.

Unable to contain his child-like excitement, Adhir Saiyadh, a qualified computer engineer, told Mirror that he was trying to connect with ISS when he suddenly received a response from Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, the two astronauts on board Dragon.

Perhaps the most important sovereign they are proud to bring back to our planet is a small American flag that had travelled on both the first and last space shuttle mission.

This photo provided by NASA shows Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, far right, joining the the crew at the International Space Station, after the SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked Sunday, May 31, 2020. "It really does change you for the better", Hurley said.

On their arrival at the ISS, the astronauts were warmly welcomed by fellow NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, commander of the Space Station's Expedition 63 and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.

The astronauts will assist their crewmates with microgravity research in the coming days and weeks until it is time for them to return. The toy Earth stayed on the space station after the capsule returned to Earth.

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The exact duration of the mission, dubbed NASA SpaceX Demo-2 or SpX-DM2, is yet to be determined.

As the first astronauts to fly aboard Crew Dragon for its maiden human test flight, Behnken and Hurley were very satisfied with the overall quality of the capsule.

However, NASA's astronauts will remain on the space station until the next ISS crew will be ready to launch.

To pick their crew mate, Behnken said, the astronauts turned to their kids.

"The Crew-1 spacecraft is in production and astronaut training is well underway".

Both companies have been contracted by NASA to develop reusable spacecraft systems to return crewed launch capabilities to U.S. soil.

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