The two astronauts onboard the Crew Dragon successfully docked at the International Space Station

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© NASA

The Crew Dragon has arrived at its destination in space.

Barely 19 hours after a historic launch — the first time astronauts had ever travelled to orbit in spacecraft built and operated by a private company — the SpaceX capsule named ‘Endeavour’ by its passengers docked at the International Space Station (ISS) around 14:20 UTC on Sunday afternoon.

The astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, took over manual control for a while, firing the thrusters to nudge the position of the spacecraft, before turning control back to a computer for the final steps leading to docking.

Once docked, Hurley and Behnken still have to wait a couple of hours for the completion of tests needed to ensure that the seals between the spacecraft and the space station are airtight.

Inside the ISS they will meet fellow American Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanichine and Ivan Vagner.

During their stay which will last between one and four months, they will conduct tests on Crew Dragon but will also take part in other tasks with the occupants of the space station, says NASA.

When the mission ends, Hurley and Behnken will get back into the Crew Dragon and undock. Firing of the thrusters will cause the spacecraft to re-enter the atmosphere. Slowed by parachutes, it will splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean, close to where it was launched.

Source and more information: The New York Times

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