SpaceX capsule docks with space station

08 March, 2019, 10:43 | Author: Emmett Howard
  • SpaceX rocket launches towards the International Space Station

In a historic moment of Elon Musk's SpaceX, the company's Crew Dragon craft successfully docked at the International Space Station on Sunday.

SpaceX celebrated the successful launch of its Crew Dragon capsule followed by the successful autonomous docking of the spacecraft at the International Space Station on the weekend as aprelude to the resumption of manned USA space flights, possibly in the next year.

This is the first time for the U.S.to use a commercial spacecraft for its manned space mission.

It is expected to be used to send crew to and from the station on behalf of NASA once it passes through the stages of test flights, with the first manned test-flight expected as early as this summer.

"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".

Since then, NASA has been relying on Russian rockets and space capsules to ferry its astronauts to and from the space station, for a reported cost of $80m per journey.

In order to certify Crew Dragon to carry humans, NASA and SpaceX will complete a series of four test flights, of which Demo-1 is the second.

Like Ripley, the capsule is rigged with sensors to measure noise, vibration and stresses, and to monitor the life-support, propulsion and other critical systems throughout the flight. Within hours, the capsule's hatch swung open and the three astronauts floated inside to remove supplies and take air samples, wearing oxygen masks and hoods until they got the all-clear.

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"This is a good day", said Saint-Jacques, an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency.

"Welcome to the new era in spaceflight", he said.

It will spend five days docked to the orbiting outpost before making a retro-style splashdown in the Atlantic next Friday.

It launched on Saturday 1 March and will stay attached to the ISS docking station until 8 March, when it will detach and return to earth.

"Super high tech zero-g indicator added just before launch!"

"I know you heard the applause and all the clapping that went along with the accomplishment today and so it's just one more milestone that gets us ready for our flight coming up here".

Boeing said it expects to test-fly its Starliner capsule next month, with astronauts on board possibly in August. Coincidentally, that adapter was delivered by a non-Crew SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The Crew Dragon was designed with an emergency escape system that can carry people out to safety if something goes wrong.

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