Crew Dragon astronauts board ISS
U.S. atronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley have successfully disembarked the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and entered the International Space Station.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft docked at the space station at 10:16 a.m. ET Sunday morning after launching from Florida's Kennedy Space Center Saturday and traveling 19 hours. After making initial contact with the ISS, Crew Dragon went through a series of steps to further mate the spacecraft with its port — including linking power and creating an air-locked seal — before the first of two hatches were opened.
Behnken and Hurley are expected to remain on board the space station for one to three months, or for a maximum of 110 days.
On Sunday morning, the spacecraft made a careful approach to the space station and then made a "soft capture" — meaning Crew Dragon made its first physical contact with its docking port at the International Space Station. Crew Dragon then made a "hard capture," which involved using 12 latches to create an air-locked seal between Behnken and Hurley's crew cabin and their entrance to the space station and linked up Crew Dragon's power supply to the ISS.
Behnken and Hurley emerged, smiling, from the capsule around 1:15 pm ET. They were greeted by fellow NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who were already on board the orbiting laboratory.
The astronauts were able to sleep for a few hours, share meals and use the on board toilet during their journey. "The Dragon was a slick vehicle, and we had good airflow, so we had an excellent, excellent evening," CNN cited Hurley as saying.
Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley gave a tour of their Crew Dragon spacecraft using onboard cameras while the vehicle was making its way toward the International Space Station on Saturday evening.