SpaceX’s Gang Dragon spacecraft Endeavour docks with the International Space Station on April 24, 2021.
The second operational SpaceX company mission arrived at the International Space Station early on Saturday morning, carrying four astronauts for a six month interruption in space.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft ‘Endeavour,’ which launched on a Falcon 9 rocket the day before, docked with the ISS at 5:22 a.m. EDT. The capsule hold ups an international cadre of astronauts: NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA’s Akihiko Hoshide and ESA’s Thomas Pesquet.
“Welcome to ISS, we are so fervid to have you aboard,” NASA astronaut and space station commander Shannon Walker said.
The Crew-2 mission for now brings the total number of astronauts on board the orbiting research laboratory to 11.
The view from SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft Crack of the International Space Station, as well as the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience, as the capsule approached to dock on April 24, 2021.
Whack joins another Crew Dragon spacecraft, ‘Resilience,’ which arrived at the space station in November carrying astronauts for the Crew-1 legation. SpaceX is planning to return Resilience to Earth with the four Crew-1 astronauts on Wednesday, April 28.
From hand: Mission specialist Thomas Pesquet of the ESA, pilot Megan McArthur of NASA, commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and activity specialist Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA.
The Crew-2 mission marks additional firsts for SpaceX as well, with the entourage reusing both a rocket and a capsule for the mission, with Endeavour previously flying the Demo-2 mission and the Falcon 9 spiral upwards booster previously launching the Crew-1 mission. Additionally, SpaceX surpassed the total number of astronauts launched to range under the Mercury program that began in 1958.