(DM-1) is underway following a successful launch on Saturday from Launch
Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
DM-1 is the
first flight test of a space system designed for humans built and operated by a
commercial company through a public-private partnership. The mission also marks
a significant step toward returning to the nation the capability to launch
astronauts on a U.S.-built spacecraft from U.S. soil.
exciting evening,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said after the launch.
“What today really represents is a new era in spaceflight. We’re looking
forward to being one of many customers in a robust commercial marketplace in
18 orbits of Earth following its launch, Crew Dragon successfully attached to
the ISS Harmony module forward port via “soft capture” while the station
was traveling more than 250 miles over the Pacific Ocean, just north of New
spacecraft approached the space station, it demonstrated its automated control
and maneuvering capabilities by arriving in place at about 492 feet (150
meters) away from the orbital laboratory then reversing course and backing away
from the station to 590 feet (180 meters) before the final docking sequence
from about 65 feet (20 meters) away.
The Crew Dragon
used the station’s new international
docking adapter for the first time since astronauts installed it
during a spacewalk in
Aboard the ISS,
NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the
Canadian Space Agency, and Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 58 commander Oleg Kononenko opened the hatch
between the Crew Dragon and the orbital laboratory on Sunday Crew Dragon
following standard leak checks and pressurization since the spacecraft
completed its hard dock to the station at 5:02 a.m. CT, the first autonomous
docking of any U.S. spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Crew Dragon will remain docked until
approximately 1:30 a.m. on Friday, March 8. Crew Dragon is expected to return
to Earth with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean at approximately 7:45 a.m. on
Friday, March 8, a little more than six hours after departing the space
NASA and SpaceX
will use data from Demo-1 to further prepare for Demo-2, the crewed flight test
that will carry NASA astronauts Bob
Behnken and Doug
Hurley to the International Space Station. NASA will validate the
performance of SpaceX’s systems before putting crew on board for the Demo-2
flight, currently targeted for July.
Learn more about DM-1 by reading our 1-on-1 interview with Flight Director Scott Stover on Roundup Reads.