The team of four NASA astronauts aboard SpaceX’s newly launched capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Monday night.
The crew was in flight for 27 hours before reaching their destination after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday night.
“Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station astronaut Kate Rubins called out when the Dragon capsule’s commander, Mike Hopkins, first made radio contact.
The astronauts will remain aboard the space station for a full six-month stay, marking a first for Elon Musk’s company.
Earlier this year, SpaceX completed a two-month, two-pilot test flight.
The historic joint spaceflight between NASA and Elon Musk’s company marked only the second time in nearly a decade that astronauts rocketed to orbit from American soil.
The mission, dubbed “Crew-1,” is the culmination of a NASA program that has sought to send astronauts to the space station using vessels and equipment developed by private companies.
The team on Sunday’s flight includes two other Americans, physicist Shannon Walker and Navy Cmdr. Victor Glover, as well as Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi — who will all spend five to six months aboard the space station.
The team named their capsule “Resilience” — a nod to all the challenges 2020 has brought, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the end of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011, the US has relied on Russian spacecraft to rocket American astronauts into space.
The space agency may now be able to save millions by no longer needing to buy seats on Russian Soyuz capsules.
With Post wires
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