The SpaceX Crew Dragon docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday in its first crew rotation mission, according to the live stream from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
"It's been an incredible journey, and it's really fantastic that this is marking the start of operational crew rotation missions to the International Space Station from the Florida coast", said Mr. Hopkins, the Dragon's commander, after the astronauts boarded the station.
Screengrab from NASA TV shows the commercially developed SpaceX Crew Dragon ship docked with the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon have arrived at the International Space Station.
At 5:30am GMT, fellow NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is carrying out checks to ensure a proper seal between the Dragon capsule and the station.
The docked Dragon crew is the first of two SpaceX missions to the ISS, with the second coming next year in the Spring.
The three Americans and one Japanese astronaut will remain at the orbiting lab until their replacements arrive on another Dragon in April. Indeed, given how some private sector players-largely US-based-are already working on developing manned flight capabilities for the solar orbit, including interplanetary travel, India has a lot of catching up to do if it is to continue to flex the space muscle that Isro operations have developed for it. That mission, which involved two astronauts, was considered a test flight. "It was an unbelievable ride". The first-stage booster even came down for a flawless landing on the SpaceX drone ship after the launch as the Dragon capsule, known as Resilience, continued on toward the station.
Screengrab from NASA TV shows Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi waving aboard the International Space Station
"We're about 21 hours into a six-month mission, so we're very excited for us".
The Resilience crew's stay at the orbiting lab is scheduled to be the longest human space mission launched from the US, according to NASA.
NASA flight director Anthony Vareha wrote on his Twitter account on Monday about his experience of presiding over a ballet in which the dancer is the Crew Dragon that needs to be put gently onto the ISS.
Referring to the coronavirus pandemic, he added, "We have christened the crew "Resilience" to say we will overcome recent hardships". To that end, the U.S. government has been scaling back NASA funding over the years and vacating space for the private sector.
SpaceX confirmed it was on course to reach the space station 27 hours later, at about 4am today in Ireland.
"It was designed from the beginning with human spaceflight in mind - even the first cargo Dragon had a window", the company tweeted.