SpaceX is now the first private enterprise to accomplish a feat. It is bringing people into orbit. And then, only nations had done until now.
The spacecraft docked at the International Space Station less than a day later, successfully completing the first leg of its voyage.
This Crew Dragon test flight is a shakedown cruise to verify that the spacecraft meets NASA’s specifications. And also, safety standards to launch routine astronaut-led trips to and from the space station.
Since the space shuttles were retired in 2011, the agency has relied on Russia for that mission. When astronauts begin to regularly use the spacecraft, space tourists may also start using it in the years ahead.
1:22 p.m. The two astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, disembarked the Crew Dragon in Eastern Time. It is exchanging handshakes and embraces on the space station with the three astronauts already.
“Welcome to the International Space Station,” Christopher Cassidy, the NASA astronaut who is the current commander of the space station, said to Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley. “Please come aboard.”
In a welcoming ceremony, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine addressed the astronauts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where operations at space stations are handled.
“I will to tell you that the whole world has seen this mission, and we’re so proud of everything you’ve done to inspire the world for our country,” said Mr. Bridenstine. He then asked the astronauts if during the 19-hour ride they had managed to get some sleep.