SpaceX Dragon Capsule Docked Successfully To The ISS

SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully completes docking test with ISS

Russia, US to continue cooperation in manned space programs after Crew Dragon's launch

During its five-day stay, USA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques will run tests and inspect Crew Dragon's cabin. SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has made the trip to the ISS a dozen times before since 2012, but only to refuel the station.

During their mission, the station crew will take part in about 250 research investigations and technology demonstrations not possible on Earth to advance scientific knowledge of Earth, space, physical, and biological sciences, NASA said.

In the future, cosmonauts and astronauts will be able to fly aboard both Russia's Soyuz and United States spacecraft.

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The launch and subsequent docking with the ISS mark the first steps to the return of the the frontlines of space exploration for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttles.

The Crew Dragon stayed in orbit since 3 a.m and, eventually, as it approached the International Space Station on Sunday, the capsule used its on-board computers and sensors to dock itself to the station. It will land in the Atlantic Ocean and SpaceX recovery vehicles will take the capsule to the Florida shore and then it will be taken back to Kennedy Space Center.

Either SpaceX or Boeing will have bragging rights as the first private company to launch humans into orbit on its own rocket, although plans call for rockets built by both companies to carry astronauts into space. After 11 minutes of launch, the vehicle separated from the rocket.

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SpaceX named "Ripley" after the Sigourney Weaver Character in the Alien movies. Within hours, the capsule's hatch swung open and the three astronauts floated inside to remove supplies and take air samples, wearing oxygen masks and hoods until they got the all-clear. NASA gave spacecraft and Boeing to $ 6.8 billion to make spacecraft carrying astronauts.

If the spacecraft's descent proceeds in a normal regime, it will travel to the orbital outpost with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on its board in July.

Reuters reported on February 21 that SpaceX and Boeing both must address significant design and safety concerns before they can fly humans.

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