Historic SpaceX Mission Successfully Docks With International Space Station
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), 27 hours on from lift-off.
The mission’s four-crew team took off on Sunday, November 15, from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre. The four astronauts to arrive at the ISS are NASA’s Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, in addition to Japan’s Soichi Noguchi.
Glover, who first joined NASA seven years ago, is the first Black astronaut to live on the ISS.
The Dragon Capsule docked with the ISS, today, November 17, at 4.01 GMT.
The team, known as Crew-1, join fellow astronauts Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov at the Space Station, who arrived there on October 14. Crew-1 will be staying at the ISS for six months.
Speaking about their successful journey, capsule leader Mike Hopkins said, as per BBC News:
I can’t tell you how excited we were when that rocket lifted off the pad, and then the last 27 hours have gone really smooth.
We are so excited to be here. We are humbled and we are excited to be a part of this great expedition. And we are looking forward to the next six months and can’t wait to get started.
The Dragon capsule was launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and separated from the rocket just seven minutes after departure. Crew-1 has named the capsule ‘Resilience’ as a way of recognising the struggles the world has faced over the course of 2020.
Following their successful arrival this morning, Crew-1 and Kate Rubins will be taking part in a news conference from the ISS on Thursday, November 19, which will be available to watch via NASA TV. During the conference, the five of them will discuss their upcoming expedition, their launch, rendezvous, and docking, says a NASA press release.
Crew-1’s arrival marks the first of six planned missions to the ISS, but this is the second time Elon Musk’s SpaceX has sent a team into orbit – SpaceX sent two astronauts to the Space Station on a trial run back in May.
SpaceX’s teaming up with NASA comes as part of the agency’s plans to start using commercial flights to space, rather than just government-funded ones.
As part of NASA’s Tipping Point Programme, SpaceX was granted a whopping $53.2 million in funding, $3.1 billion of which was used to create the Dragon capsule.
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