SpaceX rocket with unmanned US capsule arrives at Worldwide Area Station

Pablo Tucker
March 7, 2019

On March 3rd, the Dragon autonomously docked with the ISS, not requiring the aid of the station's robotic arm.

Following a almost 24-hour chase, the Crew Dragon spacecraft rendezvoused with the ISS.

Elon Musk has just launched "Crew Dragon" on the Falcon 9 rocket headed for the International Space Station.

If this six-day test flight goes well, a Dragon capsule could take two NASA astronauts to the orbiting outpost this summer.

As the capsule closed in on the space station, its nose cap was wide open like a dragon's mouth to expose the docking mechanism. The docking of the case, which has just a sham ready, was finished up at 1051 GMT, nearly 250 miles (400 kilometers) over the outside of the Earth, NASA, and SpaceX affirmed amid a live communicate of the mission. Crew Dragon is set to remain in orbit attached to the ISS until early Friday morning. That timeline appears to be like to nonetheless be intact after a stable displaying by the Crew Dragon. The test dummy - or Smarty as SpaceX likes to call it, given all the instrumentation - is named Ripley after the lead character in the science-fiction "Alien" films. 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.

Saint-Jacques tweeted about the experience monitoring Crew Dragon's "first-ever approach and docking" to the space station, hailing it as "the dawn of a new era in human spaceflight!" Docking Adapter will act like parking spots for further capsules going into the Earth's orbit.

SpaceX's Demo-2 test flight, which will fly NASA astronauts to the space station, is targeted to launch in July. Boeing is looking to launch its Starliner capsule without a crew as early as April and with a crew possibly in August. Russian Soyuz seats go for up to $82 million apiece. 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.

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. "Just one more milestone that gets us ready for our flight coming up here". The version designed for humans is slightly bigger and safer.

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