SpaceX’s Dragon capsule successfully docked at the International Space Station on Sunday, marking the first time Americans have been carried to the station in a mission launched from U.S. soil since 2011.
The capsule, which was also the first developed by a private company to carry Americans into orbit, traveled for 19 hours with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley after launching from Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Saturday.
It automatically docked with the station, The Associated Press reported.
Behnken and Hurley were ready to take manual control, but the automatic docking went smoothly, according to the AP. They were greeted by NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, who rang the ship’s bell on the space station.
SpaceX Mission Control issued congratulations after the docking.
“Congratulations on a phenomenal accomplishment and welcome to the International Space Station,” it said from Hawthorne, Calif., according to the AP.
NASA’s Mission Control also radioed from Houston: “Bravo on a magnificent moment in spaceflight history.”
Behnken and Hurley will spend between one and four months at the space station conducting experiments.
“It’s been a real honor to be just a small part of this nine-year endeavor since the last time a United States spaceship has docked with the International Space Station,” Hurley said, who piloted the last 2011 launch of the Atlantis shuttle, according to the AP.
SpaceX, Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskOn The Money — No SALT, and maybe no deal On The Money — Vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses nixed Hispanics sour on Biden and Democrats' agenda as midterms loom MORE's company, is working make space travel less expensive and more frequent by using reusable rockets.