SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station this evening, more than a day after launching to space from Florida. The vehicle’s arrival marks the beginning of the first long-duration mission for the Crew Dragon, a type of flight the spacecraft will perform periodically for NASA over the next few years.
Inside the Crew Dragon are NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi — all part of a mission called Crew-1. Their spacecraft slowly approached the International Space Station this evening and attached itself onto an open docking port on the outside of the ISS. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is designed to automatically dock with the ISS without the need of input from the crew on board, using a suite of sensors and cameras. Though, the passengers can take over the process if necessary with the Crew Dragon’s touchscreen controls.