(ORDO NEWS) — NASA astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavor spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station to join Expedition Commander 63 – NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner from the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Crew members first opened the hatch between the space station and Dragon Endeavor at 17:02 GMT, allowing Hurley and Benken to enter their new home in space as members of the 63rd expedition.
This is the second flight and autonomous docking with the Crew Dragon International Space Station spacecraft. It is also the first commercially constructed spacecraft to deliver astronauts to the ISS.
This mission, known as NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2, is a test flight to test the SpaceX crew transportation system, including launching into orbit, docking and landing. Today’s flight also paves the way for certification of a regular spacecraft crewed mission to the ISS as part of NASA’s commercial crew program.
During standard missions, Crew Dragon will be able to launch up to four crew members and transport more than 100 kilograms of cargo, which will expand the number of astronauts on the space station, increase the time spent on research in a unique microgravity environment, and return more scientific results back to Earth.
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