SpaceX astronaut crew blasted AC/DC and Black Sabbath to kick off mission

Pablo Tucker
June 2, 2020

SpaceX s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket began its voyage Saturday, blasting off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from Florida s Kennedy Space Center.

USA astronauts have been using Russia's Soyuz spacecraft to travel to the ISS since Nasa's final space shuttle flight - piloted by Hurley - in 2011.

SpaceX's new Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station, bringing the companies first crew to the orbiting platform.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk was understandably delighted by the success of the mission, too, saying he was "overcome with emotion" watching his rocket launch after many years of hard work - especially as the first attempt earlier in the week had to be called off due to bad weather.

"The whole world saw this mission, and we are so, so proud of everything you have done for our country and, in fact, to inspire the world", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a call from Mission Control in Houston. "I thank and congratulate Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, and the SpaceX and NASA teams for this significant achievement for the United States".

Both astronauts have visited the ISS before.

At one point, the webcast host mentioned that Crew Dragon was moving a fraction of a meter per second toward its destination.

He added: "Bob and Doug, glad to have you as part of the crew".

On Sunday morning, the spacecraft made a careful approach to the space station and then made a "soft capture" - meaning Crew Dragon made its first physical contact with its docking port at the International Space Station. The crew will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew.

This mission marks SpaceX's final test flight of its crewed system before it's certified for fully operational missions to the station. This bodes well for the future of crewed flights to space.

The aim of the mission is to demonstrate SpaceX's ability to ferry astronauts to the space station and back safely.

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