After a perfect launch on Saturday afternoon, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley made history as the first astronauts to arrive at the International Space Station on a commercial spacecraft.
The pair were originally scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Wednesday, but the launch was scrubbed due to bad weather.
It looked as though the same might happen again on Saturday — their next launch window opportunity — but the skies cleared and the pair had a picture-perfect takeoff.
The last time Americans launched from U.S. soil was in 2011, ending the space shuttle program.
This is the first time in human history @NASA_Astronauts have entered the @Space_Station from a commercially-made spacecraft. @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug have finally arrived to the orbiting laboratory in @SpaceX‘s Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. pic.twitter.com/3t9Ogtpik4
So far, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule — which the astronauts named Endeavour — appears to have performed flawlessly, docking with the ISS at 1:02 p.m. ET Sunday.
The astronauts are now part of the Expedition 63 crew, joining commander and fellow NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner from the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
They will be spending several months aboard the ISS, conducting tests not only on the Crew Dragon but also working alongside the rest of the crew.
The next new spacecraft will be Boeing’s CST-Starliner, which faced setbacks after its first uncrewed demonstration failed to reach the ISS last December.
www.cbc.ca 2020-06-01 15:02:24