SpaceX Crew Dragon Docks With International Space Station
Faizan Hashmi 1 month ago Sun 31st May 2020 | 09:10 PM
Washington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 31st May, 2020 ) :A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying two NASA astronauts docked Sunday with the International Space Station, the first time a crewed US spacecraft has performed the feat in nearly a decade.
A few minutes later, "hard capture" was achieved when the two spacecraft were joined with an airtight seal.
On board are astronauts Bob Behnkhen and Doug Hurley, both veterans of the Space Shuttle program that was shuttered in 2011.
"We copy, docking is complete," said Hurley, the spacecraft commander.
"It's been a real honor to be a small part of this nine year endeavor since the last time a United States spaceship has docked with the International Space Station." Next, the vestibule between the Dragon and the ISS will be pressurized and the hatch will be opened.
Behnkhen and Hurley will then join fellow NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts on board the station.
The Crew Dragon capsule had spent the previous 19 hours chasing down the station at speeds of 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kph), before carefully aligning its orbital plane and slowing down to a crawl for the delicate docking procedure.
"I'm really quite overcome with emotion," Musk said. "It's been 18 years working towards this goal.
"This is hopefully the first step on a journey towards civilization on Mars," the SpaceX founder said.
In a brief interview from space, Hurley said that in keeping with tradition, he and Behnken had named the Crew Dragon capsule "Endeavour" after the retired space shuttle on which they both flew.
- Pandemic and protests - The mission comes amid the coronavirus crisis and protests in multiple US cities over the death of a black man in Minneapolis while he was being arrested by a white police officer.
President Donald Trump flew to Florida to watch the launch and delivered remarks to NASA and SpaceX employees on what he called a "special day." Trump first addressed the protests, saying he understood "the pain people are feeling" but that he would not tolerate "mob violence." Trump praised Musk and said the launch "makes clear the commercial space industry is the future." He also repeated his vow to send American astronauts back to the Moon in 2024 and eventually to Mars.
Behnken, 49, and Hurley, 53, are former military test pilots who joined NASA in 2000.