Published: Mon, March 04, 2019
Research | By Wilma Wheeler

Space X's Crew Dragon capsule docks with International Space Station

Space X's Crew Dragon capsule docks with International Space Station

Following a successful launch early Saturday morning, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft is set to rendezvous and dock to the International Space Station for the first time.

Despite SpaceX's success at recovering and reusing its rockets, NASA is insisting on brand new boosters from SpaceX for the crew capsule flights.

After its shuttle program was shuttered in July 2011 after a 30-year run, NASA's manned flights came to an end.

"We're doing things that are really risky and the designs and the complexity of what we have to do. we're strapping human beings on top of rockets with millions of pounds of thrust and hurling them into orbit. that isn't trivial".

"I proudly congratulate the SpaceX and NASA teams for this major milestone in our nation's space history", he added.

Boeing's Starliner is slated to fly its first demo mission without a crew no earlier than April. That mission is now scheduled for launch no earlier than July, with both NASA and SpaceX expecting it will launch before the end of the year.

The only way astronauts can get to space are via Russian rockets, yet the cost of using them has steeply risen over the years.

The new space vehicle, carrying only cargo and a human dummy, launched Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It pays Russian Federation to get its people up to the orbiting research facility at a cost of $82 million a head, for a round trip.

Nasa had announced weather conditions were good head of the launch, with an 80 per cent chance of favourable weather.

"When you're here, right, there's a pride in the country".

United States and European astronauts, including Britain's Tim Peake, have begun their journey into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in central Kazakhstan.

During Sunday's mission, the ISS crew methodically checked off tasks, starting with atmospheric tests.

NASA did not want to rely on just one single vehicle, in case of accidents.

The mission is a dress rehearsal, without anyone on board, for Dragon's first manned mission, which should take place this year. It will return to Earth with a conventional reentry and parachute recovery in the Atlantic Friday morning.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon is successfully docked with the International Space Station!

The spacecraft completed a series of rocket thrusts nudging it into an orbit alignment with the ISS before docking 27 hours later.

"We're going to learn a ton from this mission", said Kathy Lueders, the manager of Nasa's Commercial Crew programme. Although, we view it also as a real mission, a very critical mission.

Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of build and flight reliability, said during a Thursday press conference that Ripley will "measure forces, acceleration and the environment itself". Now a professor of human spaceflight at the University of Southern California, Reisman said the atmosphere was electric.

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