SpaceX’s has reached a milestone after launching NASA astronauts to Space and the crew dubbed the new Crew Dragon capsule who departed earth on May 30th, from Cape Canaveral, Florida has successfully landed in the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are set to begin an extended stay onboard the ISS that could last up to four months. They will join three crewmates already living on board the station: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.
It’s been a real honour to be a small part of this nine-year endeavour since the last time a United States spaceship docked with the International Space Station,” Hurley said after docking completed. “We have to congratulate the men and women of SpaceX, at Hawthorne McGregor and at Kennedy Space Center. Their incredible efforts over the last several years to make this possible can not go overstated.”
The Crew Dragon’s docking showcased one of the biggest features of SpaceX’s capsule: its automated docking system. The vehicle is designed to autonomously approach the ISS and latch on to a standardized docking port, without any input from its human passengers. SpaceX successfully showcased this ability last year when the company sent a test version of the Crew Dragon to the space station without a crew on board. But this time, the company needed to prove that the Crew Dragon could deliver when it had its most precious cargo on board.
The arrival completed the first leg of the trip, designed to test the capabilities of the Crew Dragon capsule. But the mission will only be declared a success when the astronauts return safely to Earth in a few months' time.