NASA / SpaceX

SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Has Officially Docked At The International Space Station

After a successful and history-making launch into orbit on Saturday, the astronauts aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon have officially docked at the International Space Station.

According to CNN, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley synced their craft up with the space station at 10:16 am ET, 19 hours after first launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX made history on Saturday when it became the first private company ever to launch humans into orbit.

This was also the first time astronauts have launched from U.S. soil since the Space Shuttle Program was ended nine years ago.

Prior to docking on Sunday, SpaceX tweeted an image of the capsule's view of the International Space Station.

"Head on view of the space station from the @SpaceX #CrewDragon less than 150 meters away," the company wrote.

In the time leading up to docking, Behnken and Hurley practiced flying the capsule manually. Although the craft is capable of being automatically docked to the station, NASA wanted to ensure the astronauts could do it on their own in the event of a computer malfunction.

Less than an hour later, SpaceX tweeted confirming that the craft had successfully docked with the ISS 19 hours after it was launched.

Crew Dragon first made what is called a "soft landing", meaning it made physical contact with the station. Next it will make a "hard capture" where 12 latches will be used to create an air-locked seal between astronauts Behnken and Hurley's crew cabin, and the entrance to the space station.

Once that phase has been completed, the pair will be able to join fellow NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner who have been in orbit since April.

h/t: CNN

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