ISS Crew Member Earth Continues Work Aboard the Station

ISS Crew Member Earth Continues Work Aboard the Station

The hatch of the capsule, which did not have a crew aboard, closed on Thursday at 12:39 p.m. EST.

In this image taken from NASA Television, SpaceX's new crew capsule undocks from the International Space Station Friday. The spacecraft splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean at 8:45 a.m. NASA explained in a blog post on March 2 that the system is recording "everything an astronaut would experience throughout the mission, such as the forces, acceleration, the protection offered by Crew Dragon's seats, and overall environment".

Crew members of International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 58 have continued to bring the unofficial DM-1 Crew Dragon "mascot" along as they complete station activities.

But like the launch, the docking went off without a hitch, and soon the three astronauts on board the station - NASA's Anne McClain, Oleg Kononenko of Russian Federation, and Canada's David Saint-Jacques - were able to check out the first commercial space vehicle designed for human space flight ever to dock with the station. "We want to make sure that everything is flawless".

Since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has been unable to fly its astronauts. Both SpaceX and Boeing have been working hard to meet that demand, and a year ago it seemed like Boeing's Starliner would beat the Crew Dragon to its delivery date. The capsule is headed toward splash down in the Atlantic Ocean with a test dummy named Ripley its lone occupant. The capsule is SpaceX's first that is created to carry humans.

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After executing a docking maneuver, scientists unloaded 400 pounds of equipment and supplies.

"I think our plan is to have him teach us", Behnken said, referring to Li'l Earthie.

The latest images of Earth palling around with the Expedition 58 crew has her doing some station maintenance, keeping up with her schedule and hitting the gym with McClain. "He's going to welcome us aboard probably when we get there".

What's at stake: While NASA hasn't reported any issues for the first part of Crew Dragon's test flight but the spacecraft must also do well through the descent. Few people would be surprised if Demo-2 was launched later than July.

The 16-foot tall (4.9 meter) capsule docked at the space station on Sunday (March 3) after lifting off a day earlier from Florida's Kennedy Space Center atop a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a test dummy nicknamed Ripley. The Starliner's first crewed flight would follow, in August or later. Before the mission, NASA officials had said the spacecraft's ability to dock autonomously to the station would be one of the biggest tests of the vehicle.

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