The SpaceX capsule transporting two NASA astronauts to the international Space Station (ISS) has successfully docked at the ISS on Sunday at 2:16pm GMT (10:16am ET), 15 minutes ahead of schedule.
“Dragon has docked! Crewed Dragon, with, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board, are connected to ISS with NASA’s communications satellites, known as TDRS, still providing communications to both satellite antennas. Next up? Hatch opening.” NASA said in tweet.
The historic launch of the NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on Saturday, from the Kennedy Space Center, was the first manned mission launched from the U.S in 9 years since the retirement of the shuttles.
The launch which was earlier scheduled on Wednesday 27 May was scrubbed due to unfavourable weather conditions.
The ground officials at NASA say that the mission went smoothly. The two astronauts will join their fellow NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts aboard the station.
“It’s been a real honour to be just a small part of this nine-year endeavour since the last time a United States spaceship has docked with the International Space Station.” Mr. Hurley said while congratulating staff at SpaceX and NASA.
Having docked at the International Space Station, it will take a while before Behnken and Hurley will open the hatch and float onboard the station.
— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
The astronauts and controllers on the ground have to ensure that the pressure between the spacecraft and the station is equalized before the hatch will be opened.
NASA in a tweet revealed that ”Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are about an hour away from joining the crew on board the ISS”
The two astronauts in this mission will test all onboard systems and give feedback to engineers.
Read more: Beginners Guide to Stock Investment
This manned mission is a demonstration and testing that will channel SpaceX and NASA to the next phase of the company’s $2.6bn contract which will involve six crew flights occur probably at the end of August 2020.
SpaceX founded in 2002 by Elon Musk has stamped its foot on the race of Space commercialization with NASA most likely to remain its customer. NASA intends to outsource the service of transporting its crew to space. The space agency simply wishes to buy seats from commercial space transports to ferry its astronauts going forward as a cost saving measure.