Watch SpaceX Crew-1 Dragon capsule dock to the International Space Station
Earlier, President Trump called the launch a triumphant return of the United States to space.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with American astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Beneken successfully docked at the International Space Station on Sunday.
Former military test pilots Hurley and Behnken, who joined NASA in 2000, took to space Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida..
This is the first space flight on a private rocket, almost a decade after the last astronaut launch from American soil..
“Let’s light this candle,” Crew Commander Hurley said before launch, echoing the words of the first American astronaut Alan Shepard, said in 1961..
California-based SpaceX is owned by its founder, billionaire Elon Musk..
“I’m overwhelmed with emotion,” Musk said. – We have been working to achieve this goal for 18 years. I hope this is the first step towards colonizing Mars, ”said the founder of SpaceX.
US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence flew to Florida for the second time in a week to watch the launch. NASA estimates that over 3 million people watched the launch on the Internet. People also came to the beaches and lined the roads to witness this spectacle..
“I am very proud of the people at NASA, all the people who have worked together, from both the public and private sectors. When you see such a sight, it’s incredible, “Trump said after the start..
Later, at a rally in the huge spacecraft assembly building, the President made congratulations and informed the audience about the progress of the flight..
“Today we are gathered in this special place to celebrate not only the launch of a new spacecraft, but also the triumphant courage of our country and its triumphant return to the stars,” he said..
“This is a special day,” the president continued. – The world has just witnessed the first flight of a new manned spacecraft almost 40 years after the launch of the space shuttle in 1981 – how long ago it was. I am delighted to report that SpaceX Dragon has successfully entered low Earth orbit and that our astronauts are doing well. “.
Vice President praises Musk for “good work”.
Pence noted that as the country struggles to tackle the coronavirus and racial strife, he sincerely believes that “millions of Americans today experience the same inspiration and unity of purpose” as they did in the Apollo era in the 1960s..
NASA chief Jim Bridenstein called the launch a “great day” for NASA and SpaceX and “a milestone for the country.”
At the same time, Bridenstein warned: “We are not celebrating yet. We will celebrate when they return home safely. “.
The last time astronauts flew into space from US soil was in 2011, when NASA stopped operating the space shuttle flotilla, which forced the US to rely on a partnership with Roscosmos to transport astronauts to the ISS..
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Crew of the commercial spacecraft Crew Dragon began work on the ISS
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