The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with four astronauts on board Sunday night safely docked with the International Space Station around 11 p.m. ET Monday. Regular taxi service got underway with Sunday night’s launch.The four astronauts — Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker with NASA, and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut with Japan’s space agency- had been on the capsule for roughly more than 30 hours. The four named their capsule Resilience to provide hope and inspiration during an especially difficult year for the whole world. “SpaceX, this is Resilience. Excellent job, right down the center,” Hopkins told mission control after the docking.
Kathy Lueders, NASA’s head of human spaceflight, radioed in to speak to the crew shortly after arrival. This is the first fully operational crewed mission for SpaceX, following up a test mission in May. The Crew-1 astronauts are expected to spend about six months on board the ISS, where they’ll work on a variety of science experiments and conduct space walks to continue updates and repairs on the space station’s exterior. “For the next 15 months we will fly seven crew and cargo Dragon missions for NASA. That means that, starting with Crew-1, there will be a continuous presence of SpaceX Dragons on orbit,” Benji Reed, SpaceX’s senior director for human spaceflight, said in a prelaunch news conference.