The Dragon capsule arrived at 11.01 p.m. ET after a fully automated 27-hour flight from NASA’s Kennedy Station. Void Center in Florida. There was a short delay after “sunset” cast a shadow across the dock, making it more difficult for the crew to monitor the action.
The link occurred at an altitude of 262 miles (422 km) over Idaho. The crew entered the International Space Station shortly after 1am, when the station crew was warmly welcomed into the embrace.
“Oh, what a good sound to hear,” the space station astronaut Kate Robins shouted as Dragon captain Mike Hopkins made the first radio call. “We cannot wait to be on board,” she added, after two spacecraft were installed together.
As they prepare to connect to the space station, the Dragon crew takes a glimpse of vivid window views of New Zealand and the bright, cloudy-blue Pacific Ocean 250 miles below.
“Looks amazing,” via radio from Mission Control SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Hopkins replied, “It looks cool from here, too.”
This is the first time Elon Musk has delivered a crew for a full half year at the station.
The three Americans and one Japanese astronaut will remain in the orbiting laboratory until their replacement arrives on another Dragon capsule in April. And so she’ll go off, with SpaceX – and ultimately Boeing – to ferry astronauts to and from the station for NASA Its a kind of Hungarian taxi service.
Hopkins and his crew – Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japanese Soichi Noguchi – join two Russians and an American who traveled to the space station last month from Kazakhstan. Glover would be the first African American to move for a long time. Flyer for the first time, Glover received a gold astronaut pin on Monday.
The four named their capsule Resilience to provide hope and inspiration during an especially difficult year for the entire world. They broadcast a tour of their capsule on Monday, showing off touch screen controls and storage areas.
Walker said it was much tighter for them than the two astronauts on the test flight. “We kind of dance around each other to stay away from each other,” she said.
For Sunday’s launch, NASA kept guests to a minimum due to the Coronavirus, and even Musk was forced to turn away after a tweet in which he said he was “likely” infected. He was replaced on official launch missions by SpaceX chief Gwen Shotwell, who assured reporters that he was still largely involved in Sunday night’s work, even though he was far away.
As they prepare to connect to the space station, the Dragon crew takes a glimpse of the living windows of New Zealand and the gorgeous blue, cloudy Pacific region 250 miles (400 kilometers) below.
“Looks great,” Mission Control was dispatched over the radio from SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
Hopkins replied, “It looks cool from here, too.”