SpaceX's first crewed spacecraft successfully docks with the International Space Station

01 Juin, 2020, 03:21 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • NASA astronauts head for ISS on historic SpaceX flight - The Jakarta Post

SpaceX's astronaut-riding Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, just hours after a historic liftoff from Florida.

The mission is also the first time a private company, rather than a national government, has sent astronauts into orbit. After making final preparations, the astronauts were warmly welcomed aboard the orbiting space lab by fellow NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, commander of the Space Station's Expedition 63 and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020.

Since 2012, SpaceX's first-generation Dragon capsules have been delivering supplies to the station and bringing shipments back to Earth.

The goal of the trip is to complete the validation of human spaceflight operations for SpaceX hardware, which will pave the way for private companies to ferry astronauts to the ISS.

NASA has had to pay Russian Federation for its Soyuz rockets to take USA astronauts to space ever since the shuttle program ended.

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Next, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will prepare to open up the hatch and enter the station. The operational Crew Dragon spacecraft will be capable of staying in orbit for at least 210 days as a NASA requirement.

Russia's space agency criticised U.S. President Donald Trump's "hysteria" about the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years, but also said on Sunday it was pleased there was now another way to travel into space. Behnken was the first to enter the space station. "We hope you enjoyed the ride and wish you a great mission".

Just before liftoff, Hurley said, "SpaceX, we're go for launch". "The last administration presided over the closing of the space shuttle".

By contrast, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine credited Charles Bolden, who led the agency during the Obama administration, for his work backing the early commercial crew program. "We will celebrate when they're home safely".

Shortly after the docking was officially completed, Hurley and Behnken marked the historic moment by thanking SpaceX and NASA crews.

United Arab Emirates astronaut Hazzaa al Mansouri, center, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, bottom, and U.S. astronaut Jessica Meir, top, members of the main crew to the International Space Station (ISS), board the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft for the launch at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, September 25, 2019. Behnken said both toys would return to Earth with them at mission's end. The launch escape system (LES) consists of a set of SpaceX-designed SuperDraco engines that fire in the event of an emergency to propel the capsule and its crew away from the rocket and land them safely using parachutes. "We're going to partner with commercial industry". Both companies are focused on test missions, including abort system demonstrations and crew flight tests, ahead of regularly flying crew missions to the space station.

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