SpaceX has become the first commercial corporation ever to carry American astronauts into orbit. Never before has a non-NASA operated entity accomplished this feat.
SpaceX Crew Dragon: Docked!
The SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Capsule carrying 2 astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley has successfully docked with the International Space Station on May 31, 2020. This news comes just within 19 hours of launch from Florida. It also marks the first American space capsule to accomplish this after almost 9 years.
Up next is the pressurization of the vestibule between the Dragon and the ISS to open the hatch. Chris Cassidy and 2 Russian cosmonauts who are already on the ISS are awaiting fellow NASA astronauts Behnkhen and Hurley.
SpaceX Crew Dragon: How it unfolded
The success of SpaceX’s capsule represents another milestone for SpaceX, a company owned by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and a pioneer of reusable rockets. In addition, the aim of these rockets is making spaceflight cheaper and more frequent. NASA is positive on building such partnerships to introduce to the world a new era of space travel.
— Kenneth Scott (@kscott8133) May 31, 2020
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the Kennedy Space Center with the International Space Station as its destination at 3:22 PM EDT.
The moment when the capsule (spacecraft) starts making initial contact with the ISS (target vehicle) is known as “Soft Capture.” Soft Capture between SpaceX capsule and ISS occurred at 10:16 AM Eastern Time. Moreover, at this moment, the ISS was orbiting 262 miles over North China and Mangolia’s border.
— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) May 31, 2020
Just seconds before liftoff, Hurley said, “SpaceX, we’re go for launch. Let’s light this candle.” The comment paraphrased the popular comment by Alan Shephard, the 1st American national who ventured into space, on the launch pad back in 1961.