SpaceX Crew Dragon Docked with ISS


After the delayed launch on Wednesday afternoon NASA and SpaceX were able to successfully launch the Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday afternoon. The Crew Dragon Capsule had a smooth 19 hour trip and has now docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday morning.

Crew Dragon ready for docking — NASA

The automated docking maneuver and multiple thruster adjustments seemed to go off without a hitch. In the final moments the capsule was approaching ISS at about 1/10th of metre per second until soft capture was achieved. Then it was slowly pulled to hard capture when all the locks and seals were engaged.

From that point it still took almost three hours of preparations and system checks before the hatch was opened to allow NASA astronauts Robert (Bob) Behnken and Douglas (Doug) Hurley inside the station. While that seems like a long time, you can never be too careful when the smallest details can have a large impact.

The Expedition 63 crew has expanded to five members with the arrival of the SpaceX Crew Dragon. (From left) Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner, Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. — NASA

On a side note, as the first crew of this particular Dragon Bob and Doug were given task of naming it. They settled on the name Endeavour primarily because they both had their first space flights on Space Shuttle Endeavour.

I’m always fascinated with photos and videos from the ISS even though a lot of it can be rather mundane looking on the surface. Watching somebody scramble around using only hand and foot holds to control their direction never seems to get old to me. It’s interesting that something as amazing as space flight and orbiting space stations can seem mundane.

Impressively the ISS has been orbiting Earth for more than 20 years. The first module was launched November 20, 1998 and the station has been continuously occupied since November 2, 2000. It’s been a long time but it’s still expected to stay in service until 2030. I’m hoping for longer.

What do you find most impressive about the ISS or space flight in general? Leave a comment below.

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