Dragon docks at International Space Station 19 hours after NASA-SpaceX launch

01 Juin, 2020, 14:05 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • ISS Expedition 63 Crew

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley had lifted off at 3:22 pm EDT Saturday (12:52am IST Sunday) atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

"For the first time in nine years, we have now launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil".

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on Sunday climbed aboard the International Space Station after a 19-hour flight aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule - the first time US astronauts have launched from American soil since NASA's space shuttle program was terminated in 2011.

The crewed launch arrangement between the U.S. and Russian Federation for the foreseeable future, but the successful launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon will signal to Moscow that USA reliance on Russian Federation for human spaceflight is likely coming to an end.

A scheduled launch last Wednesday was delayed due to inclement weather. "We have to congratulate the men and women of SpaceX, at Hawthorne McGregor and Kennedy Space Center".

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The California-based SpaceX Aerospace Co.is owned by billionaire Elon Musk.

"We chose Endeavour for a few reasons: one, because of this incredible endeavor NASA, SpaceX, and the United States has been on since the end of the Shuttle program back in 2011", said Hurley during a streamed video event.

"You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen".

The Crew Dragon's passengers of NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are expected to stay onboard the ISS for about four months. As a NASA requirement, Crew Dragon will be able to remain operational on orbit for at least 210 days.

SpaceX's missions to the moon and Mars suffered a setback last week, however, when a fourth Starship prototype rocket exploded in a giant fireball shortly after ignition of a static test.

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