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NASA astronauts fly SpaceX spacecraft ‘Dragon’ first private company to dock with ISS 

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SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft docks AstronautsNASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley docked the SpaceX “Dragon” spacecraft with the International Space Station(ISS) on 31st May 2020 at 10.16 am EDT (7.59 p.m India), over the border of China and Mongolia before the ISS started travelling above the Earth’s night side.

Background:

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon capsule – Endeavour launched from Pad 39A at NASA’sKennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida on 30th May at 3.22 pm (1.50 am Sunday India).

Falcon9 Rocket:

Falcon9 is the world’s first orbital class, two stage reusable rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceS for the transportation of humans and payloads into Earth orbit.

Crew Dragon Spacecraft:

i.The only spacecraft capable of carrying upto 7 passengers to and from earth orbit and the first spacecraft to take humans to space stations.

ii.Equipped with 16 Draco thrusters used to orient the spacecraft each capable of generating 90 pounds of force in vacuum space.

Key Points:

i.The mission was initially scheduled to launch on May 27 delayed at the last minute due to weather conditions.

ii.The astronauts named the SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule, “Endeavour” after the retired winged orbiters, stating that they both had their first flight on the shuttle Endeavour.

iii.This is the first mission NASA astronauts launched in the United States since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.

iv.The series of maneuvers were called by the controllers from NASA’s mission control in Huston and SpaceX’s Headquarters in Los Angeles 

v.The astronauts from the Endeavour were received by Chris Cassidy who has been serving as Commander aboard the station since 9th April 2020 with Anatoly Ivaishin and Ivan Vagner, Russian cosmonauts.

About SpaceX:
SpaceX became the first private company to fly astronauts into orbit.
Founder & CEO- Elon Musk
President & COO- Gwynne Shotwell
Founded- 2002
Headquarters- Hawthorne, California, United States of America