SpaceX’s recently dispatched capsule with four space travelers showed up Monday at the International Space Station, their new home until spring.
The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, totally mechanized departure from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The linkup happened 262 miles above Idaho.
“Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station space traveler Kate Rubins got down on when the Dragon’s officer, Mike Hopkins, first connected.
“We can’t wait to have you on board,” she added after the two shuttle were locked together.
This is the second space traveler mission for SpaceX. However, it’s the first run through Elon Musk’s organization conveyed a team for a full half-year station remain. The two-pilot dry run not long ago endured two months.
The three Americans and one Japanese space traveler will stay at the circling lab until their substitutions show up on another Dragon in April. Thus it will go, with SpaceX — and at last Boeing — moving space explorers to and from the station for NASA.
This regular taxi service got in progress with Sunday night’s dispatch.
Hopkins and his team — Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi — join two Russians and one American who traveled to the space station a month ago from Kazakhstan. Glover is the main African-American to move in for a long stretch. A space newcomer, Glover was introduced his gold space traveler pin Monday.
The four named their case Resilience to give expectation and motivation during a particularly troublesome year for the entire world. They broadcast a visit through their case Monday, flaunting the touchscreen controls, stockpiling territories and their zero gravity pointer: a little plush Baby Yoda.
Walker said it was somewhat more tight for them than for the two space explorers on the experimental drill.
“We sort of dance around each other to stay out of each other’s way,” she said.
For Sunday’s dispatch, NASA downplayed visitors in light of Covid, and even Musk needed to remain away in the wake of tweeting that he “most likely” had a disease. He was supplanted in his official dispatch obligations by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, who guaranteed correspondents he was still a lot of engaged with Sunday night’s activity, although remotely.
As they arranged for the space station linkup, the Dragon team radiated down live window perspectives on New Zealand and a splendid blue, cloud-streaked Pacific 250 miles underneath.
“Looks amazing,” Mission Control radioed from SpaceX central command in Hawthorne, California.
“It looks amazing from up here, too,” Hopkins answered.
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