The spacecraft’s crew are the NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley and they joined the three crew members already onboard the orbiting laboratory.
Behnken and Hurley docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 10:16 a.m. EDT Sunday 31 May as the ISS flew 262 miles above the border northern China and Mongolia.
A joint enterprise between NASA and SpaceX, the Demo-2 mission represents the first launch of astronauts on an American rocket from American soil since the last space shuttle mission in 2011.
The SpaceX craft sat atop a Falcon 9 rocket, which launched on Saturday 30 May from Launch Complex 39A in Florida. Weather postponed the launch from its original date of Wednesday 27 May.
“This is a dream come true for me and everyone at SpaceX,” said Elon Musk, chief engineer at SpaceX. “It is the culmination of an incredible amount of work by the SpaceX team, by NASA and by a number of other partners in the process of making this happen. You can look at this as the results of a hundred thousand people roughly when you add up all the suppliers and everyone working incredibly hard to make this day happen.”
The program is part of NASA’s commitment to investing in commercial companies through public-private partnerships to help with delivering cargo to the space station.
“How did [Crew Dragon] handle?” the astronauts were asked from a NASA Television crew news conference back on Earth. “Exactly like the simulator and we couldn’t be happier about the performance of the vehicle, came the reply. See the full NASA video below.
“Dragon was huffing and puffing all the way into orbit, and we were definitely driving or riding a Dragon all the way up,” Behnken said. “While we’re on-board the space station with a new spacecraft, we do hope to put her through her paces. So the good ship Endeavour is going to get a lot of checkout over the next week or two here, and hopefully we’ll be able to declare her operational.”
Nearly 4 years ago President @realDonaldTrump told America and the world: “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space.” Now, the United States is once again launching American Astronauts into space on American rockets from American soil! pic.twitter.com/E6GRNL2wwT
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) May 31, 2020
Weather postpones SpaceX Demo-2 mission to ISS
NASA selects Human Landing Systems for 2024 lunar visit
JPL launches “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” challenge
Masten XL-1 lunar lander to prep human Moon landings