At 1:02pm ET, the hatch of the Crew Dragon capsule was opened while it was docked at the International Space Station (ISS); moments later, American astronauts Bob Behnken and and Doug Hurley floated out. This marked the first time a commercial spacecraft ever brought humans into space and into low-Earth-orbit to the International Space Station.
At 3:22:45pm ET yesterday, a SpaceX Falcon rocket carrying the Crew Dragon launched successfully from NASA Kennedy Space Center on the “space coast” of Florida. While there were concerns the launch would encounter a second weather delay, it was able to dodge nearby storms and showers for an on-time launch. In a series of firsts, this is the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 that astronauts were lifted into space from American soil. It’s also the first time a private company, SpaceX, brought astronauts to space.
Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy greeted Behnken and Hurley as they left the Crew Dragon and entered the ISS.
During the historic flight, Behnken and Hurley named the Crew Dragon to “Endeavor” in tribute to the retired NASA space shuttle they both previously flew in. The spacecraft is the third crew vehicle in the U.S. space program to be named Endeavour, after the Apollo 15 command module and shuttle orbiter.