Sunday March 03, 2019

A "Historic Achievement": SpaceX Successfully Docks "Crew Dragon" with the ISS

"Welcome to the new era in spaceflight": an alternate, feasible method for ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station appears to be well within reach, as SpaceX’s "Crew Dragon" capsule, the first commercial spaceship made for NASA astronauts, managed to successfully dock with the ISS this morning, and without a robotic arm, no less, despite requiring "down-to-the-millisecond precision." Assuming the Crew Dragon’s re-entry test is successful, astronauts could be using it as soon as this summer.

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Nobody was on board to open Crew Dragon's hatch -- only 400 lbs of cargo and a female crash-test dummy named "Ripley". However, NASA says SpaceX's demonstration or Demo-1 mission was "a critical first step" in restoring US-crewed access to space, since the goal is to prove the new spaceship is safe to fly its astronauts. "A new generation of space flight starts now with the arrival of @SpaceX's Crew Dragon to the @Space_Station," Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator, tweeted on Sunday.