The space crew capsules are under development by Boeing and SpaceX. The Boeing Starliner and SpaceX Dragon capsules come to help the Americans reduce their dependency on riding Russian rockets to the International Space Station. This dependency began five years ago from this month as U.S. shuttles stopped flying. The SpaceX Dragon cargo ship holds close to 5000 pounds of food, equipment and different science experiments. A fifth of this total weight is accounted for by the all-important docking port.
An unmanned Russian spacecraft will arrive ahead of SpaceX’s Dragon. The Russian Progress spacecraft launched early Sunday in Kazakhstan. It carries about three tons of food, other supplies and fuel for the space station crew. It is expected to dock the station Monday night.