Finally, the “Launch America” mission comes to an end today. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken onboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule have arrived at the International Space Center successfully. More importantly, their journey was a safe one. They have now joined their NASA colleague and Expedition 63 commander Chris Cassidy, and Russian cosmonauts Ivan Vagner, and Anatoli Ivanishin. The crew members arrived at the docking platform well before time. They had to wait in the docking station for almost two hours before they were let in.
NEXT UP: Welcome Ceremony at 12:15 p.m. CT which will include NASA Administrator @JimBridenstine, NASA Johnson Space Center Director @DirectorMarkG, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, and U.S. Representative Brian Babin live from Mission Control in Houston. https://t.co/dWuDzmOglE
— Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) May 31, 2020
The crew members opened the hatch between the capsule and ISS at around 1:02 P.M. EDT. Then, Astronauts Behnken and Hurley stepped on the space station, which is now going to be their new home for almost 4 months now. This historic mission starts NASA’s journey into the commercial crew program of 2020.
They made it. After launching from @NASAKennedy on the @SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft yesterday, @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug have officially joined the @Space_Station crew today at 1:02pm ET — making history in the process. pic.twitter.com/A7oExw0SlD
— NASA (@NASA) May 31, 2020
NASA and SpaceX: What’s next for them
SpaceX completed its most important mission by far, successfully. This was the second arrival and autonomous docking of an aircraft in the International Space Station. This is also the first time a commercially built spacecraft delivered astronauts to the orbiting laboratory of ISS.
The arrival of the two astronauts onboard the ISS is by far one of the most exciting events in the world. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will hold a news conference at 3:15 p.m. EDT from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to discuss the successful docking of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 31, 2020
The Demo-2 mission is actually an end-to-end flight test for a much bigger crew mission. The flight test helped understand transportation systems, docking and landing sensibilities, and an in-orbit docking method. NASA will soon be out with its new spacecraft for the Commercial crew Program of 2020.
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