ISRO Congratulates NASA and SpaceX for Their ‘Historic’ Manned Mission

02 Juin, 2020, 00:45 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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The Dragon Endeavour, carrying two astronauts, has safely landed at the International Space Station (ISS).

The two astronauts, both veterans of Space Shuttle missions, boarded the orbiting space lab Sunday following the eagerly-anticipated launch of the Demo-2 mission from Kennedy Space Center atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The mission marks the first time that a privately built and owned spacecraft carried two astronauts to the ISS in its almost 20-year-history.

Behnken said he and Hurley were able to get a few hours' sleep during their 19-hour orbital journey, telling the administrator that "the first night is always a little bit of a challenge, but the Dragon is a slick vehicle and we had good airflow so we had an excellent evening".

Hurley and crewmate Bob Behnken began docking day on Sunday with Black Sabbath's song Planet Caravan played to them by mission controllers in Hawthorne, California, a musical interlude ahead of their reunion with Nasa colleague Chris Cassidy, who has been aboard the ISS since mid-April.

A second crewed launch of the Crew Dragon is thought be scheduled for August 2020, but NASA has neither confirmed or denied this.

Nasa astronauts arrive at space station after 19-hour journey
Crossing this milestone means that essentially the first half of the mission has been completed successfully. The crew members first opened the hatch between the space station and Dragon Endeavour at 1:02 p.m.

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"It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA and by a number of other partners in the process of making this happen".

After the launch of Behnken and Hurley on board the Crew Dragon, a visibly emotional Elon Musk, founder and owner of SpaceX, told journalists, "I'm really overcome with emotion, and it's really hard to talk".

Nineteen hours after take-off, the astronauts reached the International Space Station.

SpaceX also made history by becoming the first private company to send humans into orbit. "It was the first crew arrival from the USA side of the ISS since the last space shuttle mission in 2011", SpaceFlightInsider wrote.

The Crew Dragon being used for this flight test can stay in orbit about 110 days, and the specific mission duration will be determined once on the station, based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch.

NASA has yet to decide how long Hurley and Behnken will spend at the space station, but it will be somewhere between one and four months.

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