The Crew Dragon spacecraft, with four astronauts on board, successfully docked this Monday at the International Space Station (ISS), where it will remain working for six months, as part of the joint mission carried out by the NASA and the private company SpaceX.
At around 11:01 p.m. EDT the ship had the first physical contact with the ISS docking port, the “soft catch”, while by 11:11 p.m. the accession, which implies a seal, had been completed. hermetic between the Crew Dragon and the ISS, known as “hard capture”.
After the docking of the spacecraft, the crew entered the space station, where they will spend six months on a scientific mission aboard the orbiting laboratory.
NASA and the US private company SpaceX sent the spacecraft this Sunday at 7:27 p.m. local time from the Cape Canaveral space base in Florida, which took just over 27 hours to reach the station, with the astronauts from the NASA Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese space agency cosmonaut Soichi Noguchi on board.
It is the second spacecraft sent into space by a private company, after astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley traveled to the ISS in May as a test of the SpaceX Dragon Crew, owned by Elon Musk. However, this is your first scheduled flight to the ISS.
Another company, Boeing, is already working on a commercial ship that will improve the delays that the software has caused in the case of the Crew Dragon, and it will be ready in 2021.
In addition, for the United States it was the first manned flight with an American spacecraft after the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.
In 2011, NASA retired all its shuttles and since then, both American and foreign astronauts had to use Russian rockets to travel to the International Space Station.