Washington, March 3 (IANS) The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday on its debut unmanned flight.
After making 18 orbits of Earth since its launch, the spacecraft attached to the ISS via “soft capture” at 5:51 a.m. EST (10:51 GMT), Xinhua news agency reported.
Flight computers guided the spacecraft directly into a docking port, unlike the previous cargo Dragon spacecraft that were attached to the space station after captured by a robotic arm.
The crew members are expected to open the capsule’s hatch and hold a welcome ceremony for the spacecraft, which will remain docked to the ISS for five days before departing on March 8 for Earth.
Rocketed into the orbit early on Saturday, the capsule carried a test dummy named Ripley — after the heroine from the “Alien” movies — and 400 pounds (about 181 kg) of supplies and experiments to the ISS.
The demonstration mission, called Demo-1, is the first flight test of a space system designed for humans and built and operated by a US commercial company through a public-private partnership.