Published: Tue, November 17, 2020
Science | By

SpaceX’s Dragon docks at Space Station with four astronauts

SpaceX’s Dragon docks at Space Station with four astronauts

Nasa astronauts, from left, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Michael Hopkins and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi before their flight.

This also marks the first fully operational crewed mission for SpaceX, following up a test mission in May that carried NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, both test pilots, to the space station for a brief stay.

Astronauts Soichi Noguchi, Mike Hopkins, and Shannon Walker - all spaceflight veterans - commemorated Glover's milestone with the gift of a small, golden pin, continuing a decades-old tradition.

Four astronauts aboard their SpaceX Dragon capsule "Resilience" have arrived at the International Space Station, circling 262 miles above the Earth, where they will stay until spring.

The Dragon capsule was due at the orbiting lab late Monday night, after a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Naturally, eagle-eyed viewers of the SpaceX livestream from within the Crew Dragon capsule spotted Baby Yoda at once and rushed over to Twitter in order to share their exciting galactic discovery.

Orbital sunset is expected roughly 10 minutes before docking, meaning that Crew Dragon's Crew-1 docking should be sunlit from a distance of ~1000 to 20 meters (3300 to 65 ft) from the ISS.

"Looks unbelievable", Mission Control radioed from SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Glover, a space rookie, is the first African American to move into the station as part of a long haul mission.

Though mission control had to work through some minortechnical hang-ups on the autonomous Crew Dragon spacecraft overnight, the ride appeared to be going smoothly yesterday.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk did not attend Sunday's launch after announcing last week that he had received contradictory results on four separate coronavirus tests.

The mission is headed to the International Space Station (ISS) where the crew will be stationed for six months.

He was replaced in his official launch duties by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, who assured reporters he was still very much involved with the action, although remotely.

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