Milestone: Capsule with dummy aboard docks at space station

Elon Musk Wants People On The Moon Permanently

At 2:49 a.m. on Saturday, the private company propelled US human space flight forward with the milestone launch of a Crew Dragon capsule, the first commercially built and operated spacecraft created to transport humans to and from the Internal Space Station.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station early Sunday morning after maneuvering itself in another major milestone of its test mission.

NASA has awarded SpaceX and Boeing Co $6.8 billion to build competing rocket and capsule systems to launch astronauts into orbit from American soil for the first time since the U.S. Space Shuttle was retired from service in 2011.

The only passenger was a life-size test dummy, named Ripley after the lead character in the "Alien" movies. They burst into applause again, several minutes later, when the Dragon's latches were tightly secured.

SpaceX already has made 16 trips to the space station using cargo Dragons.

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At the same time, the astronauts now on board the ISS kept a close watch to make sure the Crew Dragon performed as expected - U.S astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jaques were the ones in charge of commanding the Crew Dragon to hold, retreat to abort the mission altogether, if anything went wrong. The three astronauts of Expedition 58 - cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, American astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques - also entered Crew Dragon, which can carry up to seven astronauts.

Launch from Earth on a Falcon 9 rocket: Check. At 10:51 UTC (05:51 EST), a full nine minutes ahead of schedule, the spacecraft successfully docked with the global docking adaptor at the forward end of the Harmony module. Musk continues and says "And I think it'd be pretty cool if people went to space station on an American vehicle as well". That the docking process went without error will not be exclusively a sigh of aid for NASA's Business Crew Program-the venture to switch the retired Area Shuttle that's years delayed-however good news for the three astronauts at present residing on the station.

While most of us were asleep, SpaceX wrote history.

The two astronauts who are set to fly aboard Dragon as early as July, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, witnessed the Florida liftoff, then rushed to Southern California to watch Sunday's action.

The Crew Dragon craft on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A in January.

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