After a scrubbed launch on Wednesday, that was caused by unfortunate weather conditions, a second attempt was made today to send astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. This round, was a complete success, marking the first astronauts from American soil to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) since 2011.
The Falcon 9 rocket launched at 3:22 PM (EDT) today from Kenedy Space Center (Florida) with the crew traveling in the Dragon Crew spacecraft. It will autonomously dock with the ISS within 24 hours, where the crew will spend an undetermined (as of now) amount of time there. This will also be the first time a live crew will be testing the spacecraft’s capabilities in orbit.
Once NASA has determined the length of stay and this window has been completed, the craft will autonomously undock from the ISS, carrying the astronauts strapped inside back to Earth where SpaceX’s Go Navigator vessel will retrieve them and bring them home after they have successfully touched down in the Atlantic.
This will mark the final step that SpaceX has needed to accomplish in order to make the Crew Dragon spacecraft worthy of operation, and create a new future for launching astronauts and important research from American soil.
Meanwhile, as they make their way to ISS, the rocket successfully landed on the retrieval vessel “Of Course I Still Love You”, marking another beautiful sight brought to you by SpaceX.
Although the mission isn’t over yet, I think it is fair to offer both SpaceX and NASA congratulations on a job done thus far!
- Update (05/31/2020 @ 10:16 AM EDT):
They successfully docked with the ISS.
- Update (05/31/2020 @ 1:02 PM EDT):
Hatch has opened as astronauts complete their final checks.
- Update (05/31/2020 @ 1:22 PM EDT):
Robert and Doug welcomed to ISS as they climb aboard.