American astronauts successfully dock at ISS in SpaceX mission

Pablo Tucker
June 2, 2020

NASA has yet to decide how long Hurley and Behnken will spend at the space station, but it will be somewhere between one and four months.

Once the Dragon is sealed in place and pressure checks are completed, the hatch door will open and Mr Hurley and Mr Behnken will join the three other space station residents, Nasa's Chris Cassidy and Russia's Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, to become members of the Expedition 63 crew.

"We were both commenting on it as we were going uphill", he explained.

Over the weekend, two stellar astronauts from NASA made a successful launch into Earth's orbit inside the SpaceX's Crew Dragon. "In that vein, let's just say, for those about to launch, we salute you".

Hurley also described their capsule's docking with the International Space Station.

The launch marked the end of a nine-year period in which NASA astronauts had not departed for the ISS from US soil.

The spacecraft was launched by NASA and SpaceX from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, and the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket also successfully landed back on the company's drone ship dubbed "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic afterwards.

Behnken and Hurley made the journey in new specially-designed SpaceX spacesuits that replaced the bulkier spacesuits of earlier missions.

The mission was the first between a private and a government-funded organisation, heralding the dawn of commercial space travel.

Known as NASA's SpaceX Demo-2, the mission is an end-to-end test flight to validate the SpaceX crew transportation system, including launch, in-orbit, docking and landing operations and pave the way for its certification for regular crew flights to the station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Shortly after the bell rang on the space station to mark the arrival of the Crew Dragon capsule, Mr Cassidy said: "Dragon arriving".

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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