SpaceX Crew Dragon Reaches International Space Station, Elon Musk Tweets 'Docking Confirmed'
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, named "Resilience" carrying four astronauts, has successfully docked to the International Space Station, more than one day after launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida.
The SpaceX Crew-1 mission with NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi lifted off at 7.27 pm EST on Sunday (5.57 a.m. on Monday India time).
The mission is the first of the six certified, crew missions NASA, and SpaceX will fly as a part of the agency's Commercial Crew Programme.
The spacecraft docked to the space station at 11.01 p.m. EST on Monday (9.31 a.m. on Tuesday India time).
"Docking confirmed - Crew Dragon has arrived at the @space_station," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted.
Docking confirmed – Crew Dragon has arrived at the @space_station!— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 17, 2020
Three Americans -- Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker -- and Japan's Soichi Noguchi blasted off at 7:27 pm (0027 GMT Monday) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, thus ending almost a decade of international reliance on Russia for rides on its Soyuz rockets.
When the hatches open, the Crew-1 astronauts will join Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA, and station Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, who arrived at the station on October 14.
This Crew-1 mission has several other firsts, including: the first international crew of four to launch on an American commercial spacecraft, and the first time the space station's long duration expedition crew size will increase from six to seven crew members, which will add to the crew time available for research.
The crew will conduct science and maintenance during a six-month long stay aboard the orbiting laboratory and will return in spring 2021.
On November 14, the spacecraft made history when it was launched successfully. The Crew Dragon is the first ever spacecraft certification given by NASA, making it the only private agency that can make regular flights to the ISS.
(With inputs from IANS)