CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Sunday, lining up a historic liftoff with a similarly smooth docking in one more first for Elon Musk’s company.
With test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken poised to assume control over manual control if required, the SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked consequently, no assistance required.
It was the first run through a secretly constructed and claimed spacecraft conveyed astronauts to the orbiting lab in its almost 20 years. NASA considers this the initial volley in a business upheaval encircling Earth and in the end stretching to the moon and Mars.
The docking occurred just 19 hours after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Saturday evening from Kennedy Space Center, the country’s first astronaut dispatch to orbit from home soil in about 10 years.
Thousands jammed surrounding beaches, bridges and towns to look as SpaceX turned into the world’s first privately owned business to send astronauts into orbit, and finished a nine-year dispatch drought for NASA.