SPACE X CAPSULE WITH 4 ASTRONAUTS REACHES SPACE STATION
SpaceX’s newly launched capsule with four astronauts arrived at the International Space Station, their new home until spring, Marcia Dunn reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The linkup occurred 262 miles (422 kilometers) above Idaho.
“Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station astronaut Kate Rubins called out when the Dragon’s commander, Mike Hopkins, first made radio contact. “We can’t wait to have you on board,” she added after the two spacecraft were latched together.
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. The three Americans and one Japanese astronaut will remain at the orbiting lab until their replacements arrive on another Dragon in April. And so it will go, with SpaceX — and eventually Boeing — transporting astronauts to and from the station for NASA.