SpaceX Crew Dragon is docked with ISS

History was made again Sunday, with the successful docking of SpaceX Crew Dragon with the International Space Station. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are aboard. There are more activities to come, which you can watch online. Links here.

Crew Dragon spacecraft docked with ISS.

Crew Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station, just minutes before the station crossed into Earth’s shadow, on May 31, 2020. Image via NASA Television.

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley in their Crew Dragon spacecraft have successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The docking took place slightly ahead of scheduled at 10:16 a.m. EDT (14:16 UTC) over the border of China and Mongolia, only minutes before ISS began traveling above Earth’s night side. There is a continued schedule of online events today and tomorrow. The schedule is below.

The Crew Dragon mission represents the first commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft that has now carried astronauts to the space station. The first launch attempt, on May 27, was scrubbed due to unfavorable weather conditions. The launch took place as planned at 3:22 p.m. EDT (19:22 UTC) on Saturday, May 30, 2020. The astronauts launched via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket – in the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft – from historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

Today’s Crew Dragon docking with ISS, as well as other activities, are airing live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. See below for a schedule.

A tall rocket blasting into Earth orbit on a long tail of white-hot flame.

A view of the new SpaceX automated Crew Dragon spacecraft – boosted to Earth orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket – 30 seconds after liftoff on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Crew Dragon is designed to take people to and from the International Space Station. Image via NASA TV.

Two men in white space suits with the faceplates open, standing on a road with a rocket in the background.

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley (left) and Robert Behnken (right) participate in a dress rehearsal for launch at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 23, 2020, ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station. Demo-2 will serve as an end-to-end flight test of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, providing valuable data toward NASA certifying the system for regular, crewed missions to the orbiting laboratory under the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. The launch took place at 3:22 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 30. Image via NASA/ Kim Shiflett.

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 coverage is as follows. All times are EDT [UTC -4; how to translate UTC to your time] and will be updated online:

Sunday, May 31

6:45 a.m. – Astronaut downlink event from Crew Dragon
10:29 a.m. – Docking
12:45 p.m. – Hatch Open
1:05 p.m. – Welcome ceremony
3:15 p.m. – Post-arrival news conference at Johnson with
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer
NASA Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester

Monday, June 1

11:15 a.m. – Space Station crew news conference, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley
12:55 p.m. – SpaceX employee event and Class of 2020 Mosaic presentation, with NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy, Bob Behnken, and Doug Hurley

For more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Two men in white space suits with the faceplates open, strapped into seats in a spacecraft.

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission is returning U.S. human spaceflight to the International Space Station from U.S. soil – on an American rocket and spacecraft – with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. Image via NASA.

View over the shoulders of 2 astronauts, toward an instrument panel.

Looking over the shoulders of astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley following the successful SpaceX Crew Dragon liftoff. The mission features the first-ever commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft carrying astronauts to the space station. And it was the first launch of an American rocket from U.S. soil since 2011. Image via NASA TV.

This is SpaceX’s final test flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and will provide data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking and landing operations.

The test flight also will also provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX’s crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX currently is readying the hardware for the first rotational mission, which would happen after data from this mission is reviewed for NASA’s certification.

View out the window of a spacecraft with touchscreen controls above, toward a departing rocket, with Earth in the background.

Beautiful view of the Crew Dragon separation from the Falcon 9 booster. The rocket went on to make a picture-perfect landing on the deck of the droneship named Of Course I Still Love You. See the video in one of the tweets, above.

Bottom line: The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked successfully with the International Space Station on May 31, 2020. There are more online activities from space to watch. Visit NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Robert Behnken’s Twitter feed

Douglas Hurley’s Twitter feed

Via NASA

EarthSky