SpaceX Demo-1 Crew Dragon Docking to ISS - Part 2

06 March, 2019, 13:48 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • SpaceX rocket launches towards the International Space Station

In this photo provided by SpaceX, the SpaceX team in Hawthorne, Calif., watches as the SpaceX Crew Dragon docks with the International Space Station's Harmony module, Sunday, March 3, 2019. Both events happened ahead of schedule, as Dragon's first shakedown cruise continues to go very smoothly.

The crew also took selfies and videos, including a few shots with Crew Dragon's second passenger, a small, stuffed Earth with limbs and a perplexed facial expression that bounced about the capsule in microgravity.

The uncrewed SpaceX capsule made history earlier this morning (March 3) when it docked at the space station, becoming the first commercial crew vehicle to ever visit the orbiting laboratory and the first to launch into orbit from USA soil since NASA's space shuttle Atlantis in 2011. Following a successful pad abort test in 2015, the objective of Demo-1 is to demonstrate nominal end-to-end performance of Crew Dragon and its launcher, Falcon 9.

"Seeing a success like this definitely gives us a lot of confidence in the future", Behnken said.

The Crew Dragon is created to stay docked to station for up to 210 days, although the spacecraft used for this flight test will remain docked to the space station only five days, departing Friday, March 8, NASA said.

Dragon was gradually climbing in altitude toward the ISS, which is orbiting the Earth at around 400 kilometers altitude and at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour - orbiting the Earth in 90 minutes. Musk is also the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla. It docked autonomously under the station astronauts' watchful eyes, instead of relying on the station's robot arm for berthing.

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In a blog post, NASA said the mannequin had been equipped with sensors "to gather important data about what an astronaut flying aboard the spacecraft would experience throughout the mission".

The Dragon brought supplies and test equipment to the space station where it will spend five days as astronauts conduct tests and inspect the Dragon's cabin.

Launch is much like any other SpaceX mission. Because it was created to carry humans, it has an advanced emergency escape system that will allow the crew to safely escape should anything go wrong. "Just one more milestone that gets us ready for our flight coming up here".

Sending this command to the spacecraft will move Dragon back to 180 meters. Once this is completed, the Dragon could be cleared to undertake a manned flight.

The space agency has internet coverage of their NASA TV channel via YouTube, which is free to view. While a scenario in which this issue would arise is unlikely, NASA and Roscosmos agreed to additional procedures to follow should Dragon encounter a problem during the rendezvous.

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