US Astronauts lands in the global space station

Pablo Tucker
June 1, 2020

Now, the space station, Crew Dragon, and its occupants are all orbiting Earth at around 17,150 miles per hour.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft docked at the space station at 10:16 a.m. ET Sunday morning after launching from Florida's Kennedy Space Center Saturday and traveling 19 hours.

The two Americans, both spaceflight veterans, will spend up to four months orbiting Earth while engineers from SpaceX analyze every aspect of their spaceship's performance.

SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched two Americans into orbit from Florida on Saturday in a landmark mission marking the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from US soil in nine years.

They were greeted by fellow U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy, as well as cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, all in the blue jumpsuits of the space station, which was launched in 1998 and first inhabited in 2000.

Sometime in the summer, they'll return to Earth in a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

"We have to congratulate the men and women of SpaceX, at Hawthorne McGregor and at Kennedy Space Center".

"Let's light this candle", commander Hurley said before liftoff, words used by Alan Shepard on America's first human spaceflight, in 1961.

He added: "We need to bring them home safely and make sure that we are doing everything we can to minimise that risk of reentry".

The two astronauts onboard worked with SpaceX mission control to verify that the spacecraft was performing as intended by testing the environmental control system, the displays and control system, and maneuvering the thrusters, among other things.

Saturday's groundbreaking launch, which took place at 3.22pm ET after being delayed by poor weather from Wednesday, lit the skies over Cape Canaveral as the Falcon 9 rocket blazed a trail across the Atlantic ocean on a 12-minute journey to orbit.

"For the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle you have completed a historic ride to the ISS and have opened up a new chapter in human space exploration", Joshua Kutryk, a space station mission controller declared.

The mission marks the beginning of a new era in which Nasa will be purchasing transport services from the commercial sector. The capsule could be seen in the skies above the United Kingdom, chasing down the ISS. NASA said it will be determined based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch. "It was just an wonderful day".

It was also a first for the private sector, a triumphant moment for the company founded by Elon Musk in 2002. It's really hard to believe that it's happened.

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