SpaceX Docked Its ‘Crew Dragon’ Capsule with the Space Station This Weekend


At 10:51 UTC (05:51 EST), a full nine minutes ahead of schedule, the spacecraft successfully docked with the worldwide docking adaptor at the forward end of the Harmony module.

"Welcome to the new era in spaceflight", he said. It will land in the Atlantic Ocean and SpaceX recovery vehicles will take the capsule to the Florida shore and then it will be taken back to Kennedy Space Center.

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine tweeted his congratulations on "this historic achievement", which brings the United States a big step closer to its goal of again flying astronauts into space on American rockets.

Monday, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 58 Commander Oleg Kononenko went over emergency procedures specific to Crew Dragon's stay in orbit. The recovery was the 35th successful recovery SpaceX has completed. The round-trip to the International Space Station is created to provide data on the performance of the company's Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and other systems and operations that NASA will evaluate, as part of the process to certify SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the space station. Meanwhile, Boeing, our other partner developing spacecraft to launch American astronauts from American soil, is targeting the launch of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft's uncrewed Orbital Flight Test, for no earlier than April.

"We've got NASA "rocking" again".

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SpaceX already has made 16 trips to the space station using cargo Dragons. Some of the equipment needs more work - possibly even redesign - before serving human passengers.

From blast-off at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday to contact Sunday, the flight took 27 hours. The SpaceX Dragon capsule will return to Earth on Friday. And, a new show that explores how we do, what we do ... a few of the stories to tell you about - This Week at NASA!

Despite SpaceX's success at recovering and reusing its rockets, NASA is insisting on brand new boosters from SpaceX for the crew capsule flights.

"As a country, we're looking forward to being one customer of many customers, in a robust commercial marketplace in low Earth orbit, so that we can drive down costs and increase access in ways that historically have not been possible", he said Saturday following Dragon's launch.