SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is docked to the International Space Station. (NASA TV via YouTube)
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship docked with the International Space Station for the first time today, marking a successful uncrewed rehearsal of the procedure that astronauts will go through when they make their first arrival with the next flight.
The 27-foot-tall spacecraft made contact with a docking adapter on the space station’s Harmony module at 2:51 a.m. PT, as the station flew over the Pacific Ocean just north of New Zealand. That “soft docking” was the first step in an hours-long procedure to latch the Crew Dragon securely to the station, hook up power and data connections, and open the way for hatch opening.
“Congratulations to all of the teams on a successful docking,” NASA astronaut Anne McClain radioed from the station.
No astronauts were riding the Crew Dragon for this flight. Instead, a spacesuit-wearing, sensor-laden mannequin nicknamed Ripley was placed in one of the seats to document what crew members would hear and feel during future trips. The gumdrop-shaped craft also contained about 400 pounds of supplies and equipment.
Today’s docking came about 27 hours after the Crew Dragon’s launch from Florida, on an uncrewed maiden ...