Three NASA astronauts and a colleague from the Japanese Space Agency crew boarded the International Space Station early Tuesday after a historic flight in the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The crew exited the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday during the first launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, marking an important milestone in the space program. Crew-1 followed a successful Demo-2 mission earlier this year and was the first rotation flight of a US commercial spacecraft crew.
The Dragon crew, which has been declared resilient by Crew-1 astronauts, docked at the International Space Station at 11:01 p.m. ET on Monday.
NASA PERFORMS HISTORICAL SPACE OF DRAGON CREW
NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japanese Aerospace Astronaut Soichi Noguchi were greeted on board by NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sver.
“The hatches are open and NASA astronauts @SpaceX Crew-1 Shannon Walker, @Astro_Soichi, @AstroVicGlover and @Astro_illini are the newest residents aboard @Space_Station,” NASA wrote early Tuesday. “Welcome on board!”
Astronauts Crew-1 and Rubins will conduct a number of scientific studies during the six-month mission.
NASA CERTIFIES ELON MUSK SPACE TO CARRY ASTRONAUTS NEXT TO RUSSIA
Earlier this year, the Demo-2 mission marked the first launch of astronauts from the United States since the last space shuttle flight in 2011.
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After the space shuttle program ended, the United States relied on Russian Soyuz rockets launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to take astronauts into space. Russia has charged the United States about $ 75 million to send an astronaut into space, and the Associated Press reports that the latest ticket to the Union costs America $ 90 million.
Chris Chiacha of Fox News, Christine Fisher, Lauren Blanchard, David Clark, Erin McEwan and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
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