SpaceX Dragon 2 successfully docks with ISS

SpaceX rocket launches towards the International Space Station

Crew Dragon is occupied by a single dummy named Ripley - named after the protagonist of 1979 science fiction horror film Alien.

"Everything looks great", U.S. astronaut Anne McClain, who oversaw events from the station's big bay window, or Cupola.told Mission Control after looking inside Crew Dragon through a hatch window just before the crew entered.

The ship successfully docked in autonomous mode and the astronauts tweeted pictures with the ship's inhabitants.

MARTIN: Jim Bridenstine is NASA administrator. SpaceX launched the dummy and the Earth Celestial Buddies plush toy on Crew Dragon Saturday.

Applause and cheers broke out at SpaceX's control center in Hawthorne, California as Crew Dragon attached itself to the ISS, Space.com reported. Now Russian rockets are the only way to get astronauts to the 250-mile-high outpost.

Since that time, NASA has had to buy seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft for crew rotations, at a cost that has escalated to more than $80 million per seat.

Docking is scheduled for approximately 6:00 AM EST (11:00 UTC) on Sunday, March 3.

Reuters reported on February 21 that SpaceX and Boeing both must address significant design and safety concerns before they can fly humans. But he stressed there's no rush.

It will also be the first time that a fully owned and operated commercial enterprise has ferried USA astronauts into space. "That race is over".

"That's one of the things that makes people excited about the future".

Jim Bridenstine, head of the United States space agency, has explained NASA wants to reduce costs in low orbit to devote resources to getting back to the Moon and constructing a small space station in lunar orbit in the 2020s.

No astronauts were riding the Crew Dragon for this flight.

Musk also said the revised backshell performs very well in SpaceX's re-entry computer simulations but has yet to be proven in flight.

Because this is just a demonstration, there are no astronauts aboard - but there will be a space-suited mannequin.

"Man, we were all working so hard to get to the start of flying this new vehicle-it was super exhilarating", he said. (180 kilograms) of supplies for the Expedition 58 crew. It docked autonomously, instead of relying on the station's robot arm for help.

Ripley and the capsule are rigged with sensors to measure noise, vibration and stresses and monitor the life-support, propulsion and other critical systems. The version designed for humans is slightly bigger and safer.

"This is a good day - first day of a new era for the next generation of space explorer", Saint-Jacques said during a live broadcast of the welcoming ceremony.

It is not immediately clear whether that goal will be reached.

At the post-launch press conference on Saturday, he reiterated his dream for a permanent Moon base - and sending people to Mars. "When you're here, right, there's a pride in the country".

MARTIN: Bridenstine says the entire mission so far has been a success, from the launch to the docking at the International Space Station.

A few minutes after first and second stage separation, the main stage successfully executed a controlled landing on SpaceX's droneship in the Atlantic - the company's 35th successful landing of a rocket booster.

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