Mission Alpha: the Crew Dragon capsule has docked to the International Space Station

The International Space Station as seen from SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, which docked there on April 24, 2021. AP

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3 min

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule docked this Saturday, April 24 at the International Space Station (ISS), according to images broadcast live by NASA television.


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The first phase

(soft capture)

started at 9:08 am UT at 424 kilometers above the Indian Ocean.

The second stage

(hard capture)

took place about ten minutes later, with a mechanism locking the docking by a series of 12 latches between the ISS and the spacecraft.

Hard Capture over, welcome to Crew-2,

 " said US astronaut Shannon Walker, current ISS commander.

Thank you Shannon, we are happy to be here, we will see you all in a few minutes,

 " replied Endeavor commander, US astronaut Shane Kimbrough.

The vestibule between the capsule and the ISS is now under pressure so that the hatches on Endeavor and the space station can be opened within hours.

Congratulations to @ NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 for a successful docking with the International Space Station!


The Hubble team is thrilled that one of our servicing mission astronauts, @Astro_Megan (Crew-2's pilot), is part of this incredible mission.

#LaunchAmerica https://t.co/jFnM5yg2vt

- Hubble (@NASAHubble) April 24, 2021


To read also: Mission Alpha: docking to the ISS, a long and delicate operation

SpaceX breaks Russian monopoly on ISS flights

The takeoff took place this Friday, April 23 at dawn at the Kennedy Space Center, taking into space the four members of the Crew-2 mission: the French

Thomas Pesquet

for the European Space Agency (ESA), the Americans Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur and the Japanese Akihiko Hoshide.

With the success in May 2020 of its first manned test flight, Elon Musk's private company SpaceX broke the Russian monopoly on flights to the ISS and gave the Americans back the ability to accomplish this feat, after the end of the “Shuttle” space shuttles in 2011.


To read also: Mission Alpha: "

The space station is a privileged laboratory for science and research



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