SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docks with ISS, Business

07 March, 2019, 01:31 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Content image- Phnom Penh Post

"Today's successful launch marks a new chapter in American excellence, getting us closer to once again flying American astronauts on American rockets from American soil", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Launched on the company's Falcon 9 rocket, it was the first test mission of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft and rocket designed for humans.

While NASA broadcast video of everything from the launch to the docking, McClain's image of the capsule nearing the ISS should stand out as one of the most memorable documents of the Demo-1 test flight.

The demonstration mission of SpaceX's new Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked Sunday on the International Space Station, passing a key test before it can begin taking U.S. astronauts into space.

SpaceX's 27-foot-long capsule rocketed into orbit early Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center with a mannequin strapped into one of its four seats in a dashing, white-and-black, form-fitting SpaceX spacesuit.

At the same time, the astronauts now on board the ISS kept a close watch to make sure the Crew Dragon performed as expected - U.S astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jaques were the ones in charge of commanding the Crew Dragon to hold, retreat to abort the mission altogether, if anything went wrong.

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The Demo-1 uncrewed flight test will demonstrate the company's capability to safely propel an organization to the space station and make them return home.

SpaceX's Dragon crew capsule as it approached the International Sapce Station. It was the first time a spacecraft has docked with the adapter since it was installed in August 2016.

The Crew Dragon capsule was carrying a dummy astronaut, an "anthropomorphic test device" named Ripley after the lead character played by Sigourney Weaver in the Alien film series.

As the capsule closed in on the space station, its nose cap was wide open like a dragon's mouth to expose the docking mechanism. A while later, both astronauts as well as ISS commander Oleg Kononenko boarded the capsule and had a look around.

Dragon will remain at the space station until Friday, when it will undock for an old-school splashdown in the Atlantic, a few hundred miles off Florida. It was in 2011 when NASA lost such ability after it retired its space shuttle fleet.

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