The spaceship's hatch opened at 1:02 pm Eastern Time (1702 GMT) as Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley carried out final procedures before crossing the threshold about 20 minutes later. This Crew Dragon test flight is a shakedown cruise to certify that the spacecraft meets NASA's needs and safety standards in order to start routine trips taking astronauts to and from the space station.
The reusable, gumdrop-shaped capsule called Crew Dragon would now take the two American astronauts to a 19-hour journey to ISS.
"Hurley and Behnken will participate in a number of scientific experiments during what is expected to be a three-month stay on the space station".
"I'm so proud of the people, of NASA, public and private". SpaceX is founded by Elon Musk.
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Bridenstine: "Did you get any sleep on the 19-hour flight?" At 10:16 am ET on Sunday, the vehicle made a "soft capture" - meaning Crew Dragon made its first physical contact with its docking port at the International Space Station.
Hurley said he "couldn't be happier" about the performance of the Crew Dragon space capsule, which brought them to the space station less than a day after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Bridenstine and other officials, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, have offered the successful launch as a hopeful inspiration to serve as a contrast to riots that have followed the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minnesota who died after a policeman knelt on his neck. As a result, the space station is now short-staffed with only three astronauts aboard - Cassidy and two Russians, Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin - limiting how much scientific research can be conducted. The spacecraft is created to do this autonomously, but the two astronauts and the station will be monitoring approach and docking, and can take control of the spacecraft if necessary.
In 2014 the two companies signed multibillion-dollar contracts with NASA's Commercial Crew Program to finish developing their astronaut taxis and fly six operational crewed missions to and from the orbiting laboratory. That, however, is only relatively speaking: Both the spacecraft and the space station were still whipping through orbit at more than 17,000 miles per hour (about 27,000 kilometers per hour). But Behnken and Hurley got there first.
"We chose Endeavour for a few reasons: one, because of this incredible endeavor NASA, SpaceX, and the United States has been on since the end of the Shuttle program back in 2011", said Hurley during a streamed video event.