SpaceX’s Dragon Crew Aces ISS Docking Test

Pat Wise
March 7, 2019

The launch was a success and the Crew craft arrived at the International Space Station early Sunday where it's expected to stay docked for five days before it autonomously undocks and returns to Earth.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket docks with the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday during the Demo-1 mission.

MCCLAIN: Today human advancement of exploration continues, as the first new space vehicle designed for humans in over 40 years arrived at our front door. Under this, SpaceX has launched the Crew Dragon. According to weather forecasters, there's an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for launch on a Saturday morning.

Either SpaceX or Boeing will have bragging rights as the first private company to launch humans into orbit on its own rocket, although plans call for rockets built by both companies to carry astronauts into space.

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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!"

After stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage came down to land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The recovery was the 35th successful recovery SpaceX has completed. The test run sought to demonstrate that the vehicle is reliable and safe, so that NASA can resume manned flights from USA soil this year. It will be slowed by four parachutes, in what is the one of the mission's riskiest stages.The launch is a key step towards resuming manned space flights from United States soil after an eight-year break.

The mission was a test-run for sending American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), possibly as early as July, breaking the current Russian monopoly as the only country able to send...

At the same time, the astronauts now on board the ISS kept a close watch to make sure the Crew Dragon performed as expected - U.S astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jaques were the ones in charge of commanding the Crew Dragon to hold, retreat to abort the mission altogether, if anything went wrong.

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