SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship docked with the International Space Station for the first time today, marking a successful uncrewed rehearsal of the procedure that astronauts will go through when they make their first arrival with the next flight.
The 27-foot-long spacecraft made contact with a docking adapter on the space station’s Harmony module at 2:51 a.m. PT, as the station flew 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean just north of New Zealand. That “soft docking” was the first step in an hours-long procedure to latch the Crew Dragon securely to the station, hook up power and data connections, and clear the way for hatch opening.
“Congratulations to all of the teams on a successful docking,” NASA astronaut Anne McClain radioed from the station. The news was greeted with cheers at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.