SpaceX rocket with unmanned US capsule arrives at Worldwide Area Station

SpaceX’s Dragon crew capsule as it approached the International Sapce Station

The demonstration mission of SpaceX's new Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked Sunday on the International Space Station, passing a key test before it can begin taking United States astronauts into space. The round-trip to the International Space Station is created to provide data on the performance of the company's Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and other systems and operations that NASA will evaluate, as part of the process to certify SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the space station.

Crew Dragon capsule flew into space at 2:49 AM ET and set itself into the Earth's orbit just 11 minutes after the launch at 3 AM ET.

SpaceX said the spacesuit for Ripley, apparently a reference to the protagonist in the science fiction movie "Alien", has been embedded with sensors around its head, neck, and spine to monitor how a flight would feel for a human. Across the country at SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, company employees went wild, cheering every step of the way until the capsule successfully reached orbit.

In 2014, the USA space agency awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing to take over the task of ferrying astronauts to the space station.

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Last week, upon completing its pre-launch reviews, NASA estimated that if the demonstration flight went well we could see crewed flights within a few months.

Watching on the ground was astronaut Bob Behnken, who has been chosen, along with Doug Hurley, to make the first crewed ride in the Dragon when it gets its certification.

After stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage came down to land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

This time, the capsule gradually maneuvered closer to the station before docking on its own.

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The three U.S., Canadian and Russian crew members aboard the space station watched the rendezvous via TV cameras.

Boeing, which is engaged on the a lot-hyped Starliner crewed spacecraft, has but to ship it into area and carry out any type of preliminary uncrewed take a look at flight to the house station.

As a safety measure, SpaceX sent Crew Dragon to various waypoints outside of the ISS to test the spacecraft's docking capability.

Founded by billionaire Elon Musk, SpaceX has made the trip to the ISS a dozen times since 2012, but only to bring cargo to the station. Some of the equipment needs more work - possibly even redesign - before serving human passengers.

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