SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule arrives at the International Space Station (ISS) following up a historic liftoff with an equally smooth docking. The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule (named Endeavour by the crew) docked automatically to the ISS, no assistance needed.

Test pilots Doug Hurley (spacecraft commander) and Bob Behnken poised to take over manual control if necessary, but no intervention needed.

The historic mission of Crew Dragon is a milestone in humanity’s space exploration program – it is:

  • The first crewed launch from the American soil since the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet in 2011
  • The first crewed mission of a spacecraft and its carrying rocket designed and produced by a private company (SpaceX)
  • For the first time in history, 1st stage booster of a rocket carrying a crewed spacecraft (Falcon 9) has returned back to Earth and landed on the droneship “Of course I still love you” successfully.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule arrives at the ISS
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule arrives at the International Space Station (ISS). Just after the hatch between the ISS and Crew Dragon opened, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (right-hand side) are welcomed by the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station. From left to right: Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner (Roscosmos), Chris Cassidy (the Commander of the Space Station), Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley (NASA).

SpaceX Crew Dragon launch and dock

The historic launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
On May 30, 2020, two astronauts successfully flew into space for the first time aboard a commercial crewed spacecraft that serves as one of two spacecraft that is expected to shuttle crews to and from the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the other being the Boeing CST-100 Starliner. The spacecraft carrying two NASA astronauts (Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley) was launched atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket despite unstable weather conditions, which threatened to delay the launch for the second time.
The capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station on 31 May 2020 at 13:54 UTC.
SpaceX’s Demo-2 Crew Dragon spacecraft, with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, autonomously docked to the International Space Station on Harmony module’s International Docking Adapter, on 31 May 2020, at 14:16 UTC (10:16 EDT).
The hatch of SpaceX’s Demo-2 Crew Dragon spacecraft, with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, was opened by the Space Station commander Chris Cassidy on 31 May 2020, at 17:02 UTC (13:02 EDT). Demo-2 is SpaceX’s first crewed mission to the International Space Station.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule arrives at the ISS
After the hatch was opened, astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station hugged and welcomed the two NASA astronauts who just arrived at the orbiting laboratory.

Robert L. Behnken

Robert L. Behnken (Crew Dragon)
Robert L. Behnken

Robert Louis Behnken ( born July 28, 1970, in St. Ann, Missouri) is a NASA astronaut, engineer, and former Chief of the Astronaut Office. Behnken holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and the rank of colonel in the U.S. Air Force, where he served before joining NASA in 2000.

He flew aboard Space Shuttle missions STS-123 (2008) and STS-130 (2010) as a mission specialist, accumulating over 708 hours in space, including 37 hours of spacewalk time. He is married to fellow astronaut K. Megan McArthur, the last person to be hands-on with the Hubble Space Telescope via the Canadarm.

Following the retirement of the Space Shuttle, Behnken was Chief of the Astronaut Office from 2012 to 2015. He was assigned to the SpaceX Dragon Capsule in 2018 as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Douglas G. Hurley

Douglas G. Hurley (Crew Dragon)
Douglas G. Hurley

Douglas Gerald Hurley (born October 21, 1966) is an American engineer, former Marine Corps pilot, and current NASA astronaut. He piloted Space Shuttle missions STS-127 (July 2009) and STS-135 (July 2011), the final flight of the Space Shuttle program. He launched into space for the third time as Commander of Crew Dragon Demo-2, the first crewed spaceflight from American soil since STS-135.

He was also the first Marine to fly the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. His call sign is “Chunks”, and he was sometimes referred to by this name on the communication loops.

Hurley is married to fellow NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg.

Sources

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