Crew Dragon approaching first docking with the ISS

The capsule is expected to reach the International Space Station on Sunday

As Crew Dragon hurls through space, SpaceX will command the craft from its control center in Hawthorne, California, while NASA teams will monitor operations throughout the flight from the agency's mission control center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Cargo Dragon must be maneuvered with the station's robot arm. Once they determined that the air inside the Crew Dragon was safe, they swung the door open and allowed it to mix with the air inside the space station.

SpaceX, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has made the trip to the ISS a dozen times before since 2012, but only to refuel the station. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are set to fly the historic crewed mission.

In less than a decade, SpaceX has become a key partner for NASA, in addition to dominating the market for private satellite launches. The celebration was a milestone for Musk, who launched the company in 2002 with the goal of taking humans into space and one day colonizing Mars.

The spacecraft is created to carry up to seven passengers to the space station, but for this flight, the capsule is loaded up with 450 pounds of cargo and a test dummy outfitted in one of SpaceX's customised spacesuits. "Right now, the date is July and that's what we're planning for, but if we change that date we'll make sure people know when it's the right time". TV cameras on Dragon as well as the station provided stunning views of one another throughout the rendezvous. "We may push a button or two to demonstrate that we have the capability to intervene if we need to, but the vehicle is pretty much going to do the work autonomously, just like it did today". NASA and the Russians are discussing one last purchase, just to make sure US astronauts have access to the station even if the start of space taxi service has to be delayed.

"There is nothing more important for us than this endeavour, and we really appreciate the opportunity from Nasa to do this".

Fat rat saved from manhole by German animal rescue
Photos of the rat showed its head and rotund torso poking out of the hole, with its bottom half obscured by the sewer cover. The call, which came from an unidentified person, said he/she saw a rat stuck at the crate while getting out of the sewer.

The docking port itself is new and has never been used. The docking mechanisms then pulled Dragon into a firm "hard capture" with the station about 10 minutes later.

From blast-off at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday to contact Sunday, the flight took 27 hours. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule could undergo its first uncrewed test flight in April.

"We're doing things that are really risky and the designs and the complexity of what we have to do. we're strapping human beings on top of rockets with millions of pounds of thrust and hurling them into orbit. that isn't trivial".

The United States has not launched astronauts from its soil since 2011, when the Space Shuttle program ended. The capsule is equipped with a life support system and an emergency abort system.

Next up, though, should be Boeing, NASA's other commercial crew provider.

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