Crew Dragon successfully docks at International Space Station

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 04, 2019 11:57 hrs
SpaceX - Crew Dragon (Image Courtesy: AP)

NASA-SpaceX partnered astronaut capsule, Crew Dragon, successfully attached to the International Space Station on Sunday after making 18 orbits around Earth since its launch.

"Capture confirmed! After making 18 orbits of Earth since its launch, @SpaceX’s #CrewDragon spacecraft successfully attached to the @Space_Station via “soft capture” at 5:51 am ET while the station was travelling just north of New Zealand," NASA tweeted after the docking.

The commercially built spacecraft's launch on Saturday was hailed as a major step towards resuming manned space flights. With no crew aboard but a mannequin named Ripley, this capsule is scheduled to return to Earth by Friday next week.

Furthermore, NASA plans on putting two astronauts on board by the end of the year if the test goes smoothly.

"The @SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked to the @Space_Station for the first time today. The spacecraft, designed to fly astronauts, is attached to the station's Harmony module as Earth rotates below," NASA Commercial Crew Programme tweeted on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump had earlier congratulated the team on Crew Dragon's launch, stating, "We’ve got NASA “rocking” again. Great activity and success. Congrats to SPACEX and all!"