SpaceX's Crew Dragon docks at ISS

SpaceX's Crew Dragon docks at ISS

SpaceX's Crew Dragon docks at ISS

After months of delay, SpaceX's Dragon Crew capsule was successfully launched into space this morning, the first step of an unmanned crew flight that will set the stage for the first manned space mission to lift off from USA soil in almost a decade.

The next stage in Demo-1 is for it to autonomously dock with the International Space Station (ISS), where it will remain for 5 days.

Dragon's arrival marked the first time in eight years that an American-made spacecraft capable of carrying humans has flown to the space station. After undocking from the space station, Crew Dragon will begin its descent to Earth.

"We're doing things that are really risky and the designs and the complexity of what we have to do. we're strapping human beings on top of rockets with millions of pounds of thrust and hurling them into orbit. that isn't trivial".

Today's successful launch marks a new chapter in American excellence, getting us closer to once again flying American Astronauts on American rockets from American soil. In the meantime, NASA is paying two companies - SpaceX and Boeing - to build and operate America's next generation of rocket ships.

Eastern Time (10:51 GMT) after 27 hours after the capsule's launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The dummy pilot is a mannequin nicknamed "Ripley" after Sigourney Weaver's character in the Alien films.

SpaceX rocket launches towards the International Space Station
Dragon roars: SpaceX's first crew test flight goes well so far

This includes demonstrating the on-orbit operation of avionics, communications, telemetry, life support, electrical, and propulsion systems, as well as the guidance, navigation, control (GNC) systems aboard both Falcon 9 and Dragon. The contracts may be worth as much as US$6.8 billion and allow the U.S. to avoid using the Russian Soyuz capsule to transport workers to the ISS.

In this photo provided by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured about 20 meters (66 feet) away from the International Space Station’s Harmony module, Sunday, March 3, 2019.

"Everything looks great", United States astronaut Anne McClain, who oversaw events from the station's big bay window, or Cupola.told Mission Control after looking inside Crew Dragon through a hatch window just before the crew entered.

NASA broke the news in a tweeted video of the docking, which elicited roaring cheers from those watching.

"Congratulations to all nations, private space firms and individuals who wake up every day driven by the magic of exploration", American astronaut Anne McClain, the third crew member on the station, said at a welcoming ceremony broadcast over NASA TV.

"Actually, hypersonic re-entry is probably my greatest concern", said SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

"We're going to have more access to space at a better cost than at any point in human history", said Bridenstine, adding he was "100 per cent confident" that a manned flight would happen by the year's end. The Starliner is now due to make its first uncrewed test flight no earlier than April, and its first crewed flight no earlier than August.

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