A four-astronaut team arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday (April 24) aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour, NASA said, after becoming the first crew ever to be propelled into orbit by a rocket booster recycled from a previous spaceflight.
The Endeavour capsule, also making its second flight, was launched into space on Friday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX is the Elon Musk’s commercial rocket company.
The Endeavour docked to the space station complex at 5:08 a.m. EDT (0908 GMT) while the spacecraft were flying 264 miles (425 km) above the Indian Ocean, NASA said.
On board were two NASA astronauts – mission commander Shane Kimbrough, 53, and pilot Megan McArthur, 49 – along with Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, 52, and fellow mission specialist Thomas Pesquet, 43, a French engineer from the European Space Agency. All four astronauts floated into the dock shortly after 7.40 a.m. EDT (0940 GMT) and were greeted with hugs and smiles from the seven-member crew aboard the Space Station.
The mission marks the second “operational” space station team launched by NASA aboard a Crew Dragon capsule since human spaceflights resumed from American soil last year, following a nine-year hiatus at the end of the U.S. space shuttle program in 2011.
(Production: Pavithra George)