Get ready for an Elon Musk story that doesn’t involve Twitter.
Just one day after launching into orbit, SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon capsule automatically docked to a port on the International Space Station (ISS).
This is a critical step in space flight, as docking is something that the capsule would have to do routinely in the future when it starts transporting astronauts to and from the ISS, reports The Verge.
The Crew Dragon was launched on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
Also, Crew Dragon is a pretty hardcore name.
You can watch it dock here:
The capsule used a series of lasers, sensors and software to automatically dock this hardware to an available port on the outside of the ISS.
SpaceX sent the Crew Dragon to various waypoints outside of the station early Sunday morning, to test the vehicle’s docking capability. Using its onboard thrusters, the capsule periodically approached the ISS and then held its position over the course of two and a half hours.
The capsule even backed away at one point to test the spacecraft’s capability of retreating in case of an emergency. Then once the Crew Dragon was about 20 meters away, the final command was sent to the capsule to dock with the ISS. And at 5:51AM ET, the vehicle attached itself onto the docking port. A series of hooks then deployed around the outside of the port to secure the capsule into place.
Here’s the moment the capsule opens onto the ISS for the first time:
This is the first time that SpaceX has automatically docked a capsule to the Space Station, marking a massive step forward in the quest to launch a commercial crew program.
With the Crew Dragon attached to the ISS, the three crew members on board the ISS will open the hatch on the capsule and go inside, greeting the smart dummy named Ripley that rode in one of the four passenger seats. They will also unpack the more than 400 pounds of cargo stowed on the Crew Dragon, as well as perform a series of tests on the vehicle in the days ahead. The goal is to see how the vehicle is handling the space environment, and if its design is safe and holding up as expected.
On Friday, the capsule will be sent home, where it will attempt to land. If successful, the next trip will be conducted with real astronauts.
Watch this space.
SA Discards 2 Million J&J Vaccine Doses Made In Gqeberha Plant - A batch of 300 000 J&...
[imagesource:here] South Africa has officially entered its third wave. Yesterday, 9 ...
[imagesource:here] The City of Cape Town has called for public comment on the proposed ...
[imagesource: Vancouver Real Estate Photography] Shipping container homes have become i...
[imagesource: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency] On Monday, at an unnamed Pretoria hosp...