WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- On Sunday, the SpaceX crew arrived safely at the International Space Station.
- NASA shared videos on their socials which showed welcoming hugs from their fellow astronauts in the ISS.
- The event is the first flight of American astronauts on a US-made rocket on US soil after the last Space Shuttle mission back in July 2011.
After taking off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley successfully docked at the International Space Station.
NASA shared multiple videos on Twitter of their arrival, which began with the two receiving hugs from other astronauts onboard the ISS.
Hurley shared, “It’s been our honour to just be a small part of this.” When NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine asked the crew if they had any sleep during their 19-hour trip, Behnken replied, “We did get probably a good seven hours or so… we had an excellent evening and just excited to be back in lower Earth orbit again.”
Jim Morhard, NASA Deputy Administrator, congratulated them both saying, “This is the dawn of a new era, and we just thank you for being at the beginning of it.”
Originally, the launch was scheduled on May 27 but was pushed back due to the weather conditions being unfavorable. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft took flight at 3:22 p.m. ET on Saturday with both the president and vice president observing from the Kennedy Space Center. Limiting attendance was necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but many in Florida were able to witness the momentous occasion from nearby and others watched via public live-streaming.
The return date of the crew is to be confirmed, but the shuttle can stay in orbit for roughly 110 days. Additionally, the return is dependent on when the next commercial crew launch would be ready.