New York: The new capsule of SpaceX with four astronauts has reached the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday night, their new home until spring.
According to the foreign news agency, the spacecraft left the Kennedy space station of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) automatically and reached the ISS last night after a journey of 27 hours.
According to details, the Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
At the same time, four astronauts arrived on the space, which will now spend the next six months there. The three Americans and one Japanese astronaut will remain at the orbiting lab until their replacements arrive on another Dragon in April. The crew is comprised of three Americans – Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker – and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi.
SpaceX is scheduled to launch two more crewed flights for NASA in 2021, including one in the spring, and four cargo refueling missions over the next 15 months.
NASA turned to SpaceX and Boeing after shuttering the checkered Space Shuttle program in 2011, which failed in its main objectives of making space travel affordable and safe.
The agency will have spent more than $8 billion on the Commercial Crew program by 2024, with the hope that the private sector can take care of NASA’s needs in ‘low Earth orbit’ so it is freed up to focus on return missions to the Moon and then on to Mars.
SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002, leapfrogged its much older rival Boeing, whose program floundered after a failed test of its uncrewed Starliner last year.
This is the second astronaut mission for SpaceX. But it’s the first time Elon Musk´s company delivered a crew for a full half-year station stay. The two-pilot test flight earlier this year lasted two months.
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