Space X Crew Capsule Reaches Space Station

08 March, 2019, 10:45 | Author: Emilio Conner
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule lifts off from pad 39A on Saturday in Cape Canaveral Fla. Image Terry Renna  AP

Astronauts aboard the ISS watched closely on HD cameras to make sure the capsule performed as planned.

Crew Dragon is the first commercially operated spacecraft created to carry astronauts, and the uncrewed demonstration mission to the International Space Station is a test to make sure everything works before humans are rocketed into space in the capsule.

Anne McClain, the American aboard the space station, says she's looking forward to saying hello.

Both companies have received billions of dollars from NASA to develop spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts safely to and from the station.

By then, the Crew Dragon was already orbiting earth at five miles per second and headed for a docking with the worldwide space station Sunday morning.

"Dragon confirmed in good orbit", SpaceX confirmed at 3:00 a.m.

Early this morning, a spacecraft called Crew Dragon docked at the International Space Station.

SpaceX, using a Falcon 9 rocket, successfully launched a space capsule bound for the International Space Station. "We've launched a lot of Falcon 9 rockets now". The next one coming up will have its own two-man crew.

If all goes smoothly, Crew Dragon could conduct a second test flight, with live crew, as soon as April. The astronauts wore oxygen masks and hoods until getting the all-clear.

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The mission is a test launch with only a dummy on board the capsule before a manned flight set for later in 2019. He was at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida when the crewless vessel launched yesterday morning.

"Man, we were all working so hard to get to the start of flying this new vehicle-it was super exhilarating", he said. 'Just one more milestone that gets us ready for our flight'.

No astronauts were riding the Crew Dragon for this flight. It docked autonomously under the station astronauts' watchful eyes, instead of relying on the station's robot arm for berthing.

Hours later, crew members are expected to open the capsule's hatch and hold a welcome ceremony for the craft. They burst into applause again, several minutes later, when the Dragon's latches were tightly secured.

Dragon crew capsules will splashdown in the Atlantic not far from Kennedy.

The dummy is nicknamed Ripley, in honour of Ellen Ripley, the fictional character played by Sigourney Weaver in the 1979 film, Alien, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of Build and Flight Reliability, revealed on Thursday in a pre-launch news briefing. Engineers will be carefully watching sound, vibration and other stresses on the spacecraft, while monitoring the life-support, communication and propulsion systems.

SpaceX aims to launch Behnken and Hurley as early as July.

Now two companies, SpaceX and Boeing, hope their new space taxis will become the Uber and Lyft of low earth space travel.


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