SpaceX rocket with unmanned U.S. capsule blasts off for space station

08 March, 2019, 10:54 | Author: Emmett Howard
  • Crew Dragon Capsule

Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Programs Sergei Krikalyov earlier told TASS that the Crew Dragon should undergo tests and comply with safety and reliability requirements before Russian cosmonauts can travel aboard it. SpaceX employees at company headquarters in Hawthorne, California, cheered the docking, then burst into applause again when the Dragon's latches were secured.

"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.

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.

SpaceX engineers and NASA have been working together under a $2.6 billion commerical-crew contract that could potentially be open to general populous space tourists as well. TV cameras on Dragon as well as the station provided stunning views of one another throughout the rendezvous.

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques pronounced the docking flawless and called it "a handsome thing to see".

The capsule's lone passenger for launch - a mannequin wearing a white SpaceX spacesuit - remained strapped into its seat as the station's U.S., Canadian and Russian crew removed supplies and photographed the spotless white interior. 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.

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"Welcome to the new era in spaceflight", McClain said from inside Dragon.

After five days on the ISS, the Crew Dragon will return to Earth on March eight for an aquatic touchdown within the Atlantic Ocean.

Boeing, which is engaged on the a lot-hyped Starliner crewed spacecraft, has but to ship it into area and carry out any type of preliminary uncrewed take a look at flight to the house station.

Founded by billionaire Elon Musk, SpaceX has made the trip to the ISS a dozen times since 2012, but only to bring cargo to the station. The version designed for humans is slightly bigger and safer.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule launch from NASA pad 39A as seen in a time exposure from Viera, FL. on March. He marvels at how the Dragon has just 30 buttons and touch screens, compared with the space shuttle cockpit's 2,000 switches and circuit breakers.

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