Video screenshot via NASA
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken successfully arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) after the historic launch of the Falcon9 rocket on Saturday via SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The initial launch on Wednesday was postponed due to rough weather at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew succeeded on the second attempt on Saturday, and the astronauts have now settled at the ISS.
The Crew Dragon capsule automatically docked with the ISS without any assistance. The astronauts had controlled the spacecraft in the last hundred meters with slight piloting as part of the test flight. They then returned the spacecraft to auto-pilot mode in the final moments.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has become the first private company to have sent NASA astronauts to space in US history. The Demo-2 mission was also the space agency’s first human spaceflight in a decade.
Hurley and Behnken will work as crew members at the ISS for four months before returning back to Earth.
For those wanting to try docking the Crew Dragon spacecraft from the comfort of their homes, SpaceX has also unveiled a virtual simulator mirroring the immersive experience.
May 31, 2020
This is the first time in human history @NASA_Astronauts have entered the @Space_Station from a commercially-made spacecraft. @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug have finally arrived to the orbiting laboratory in @SpaceX's Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. pic.twitter.com/3t9Ogtpik4— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
“We’re just happy to be here and Chris [Cassidy] is going to put us work. And hopefully we will fit in and not mess too many things up.” @Astro_Doug on him and @AstroBehnken being the newest crew members of the @Space_Station. pic.twitter.com/Y5xZJFn2As— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
“When we go to the Moon we’re going to land on the surface of the Moon with commercial landers.” Administrator @JimBridenstine on humanity’s return to the lunar surface with #Artemis. pic.twitter.com/zCOyGcCo4c— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
"The whole world saw this mission and we are so, so proud of everything you’ve done for our country and, in fact, to inspire the world." - Administrator @JimBridenstine congratulates @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug who just arrived aboard the @Space_Station. #LaunchAmerica pic.twitter.com/7cYwdCcdJa— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
[via Euronews, cover image via NASA]