SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docks with ISS

08 March, 2019, 10:55 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Elon Musk & NASA want to send civilians to the space station

"A new generation of space flight starts now with the arrival of @SpaceX's Crew Dragon to the @Space_Station", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted.

At 2:49 a.m. on Saturday, the private company propelled USA human space flight forward with the milestone launch of a Crew Dragon capsule, the first commercially built and operated spacecraft created to transport humans to and from the Internal Space Station.

While Crew Dragon is created to remain docked to the space station for up to 210 days, this test of the spacecraft will be much shorter, ending early Friday morning. A while later, both astronauts as well as ISS commander Oleg Kononenko boarded the capsule and had a look around. The launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station from Pad 39A at Kenned.

After that, it will detach and return to Earth, in the final phase of the mission which SpaceX founder Elon Musk has admitted he is most anxious about. "It's done. Now we're in a position where we can take our time and make sure we get it right". "Unless something goes wrong I should think we'll be flying (people) this year; this summer, hopefully".

NASA says Expedition 58 capped off its busy weekend with additional outfitting for the SpaceX Crew Dragon, which had only completed its hard dock to the International Space Station Sunday morning as part of the Demo-1 uncrewed flight test.

"We are not in a space race", he told the AP.

Elon Musk & NASA want to send civilians to the space station
SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with ISS, astronauts climb aboard

The Crew Dragon craft took off Saturday morning from the Launch Complex 39-A.

It can carry as many as seven people and has three windows, emergency-abort engines that can pull the capsule to safety, and streamlined controls, with just 30 buttons and touch screens, compared with the space shuttle cockpit's 2,000 switches and circuit breakers. A test dummy fitted with several instruments occupied one of the four seats. (AP Photo/Terry Renna) This photo provided by SpaceX shows a life-size test dummy along with a toy that is floating in the Dragon capsule as the capsule made orbit on Saturday, March 2, 2019. It said that as Crew Dragon approached the ISS on March 3, it used a series of lasers, sensors, and software to automatically dock at a port on the outside of the ISS.

Flight operations team members - some of them new to this - also need the six-day trial run, according to Kennedy Space Center's director, Robert Cabana. The version designed for humans is slightly bigger and safer.

"I nearly thought we would fail". TV cameras on Dragon as well as the station provided stunning views of one another throughout the rendezvous.

A new experiment planned for launch to the space station in August 2022 will, for the first time, gather global observations of an important driver of space weather in our upper atmosphere.

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