CThis is the third time that the private company SpaceX, which ended Russia’s monopoly on flights to the station, has brought humans to the International Space Station.
“It’s hard to pick up more, welcome to Crew-2,” said US astronaut Shannon Walker, the current commander of the International Space Station.
Endeavor began its docking maneuvers at 9:08 GMT, 424 kilometers over the Indian Ocean, a process that was completed about ten minutes later, with a mechanism that locks a chain of 12 docking bolts between the International Space Station and the spacecraft, according to live footage from NASA TV.
Two hours later, the Crew-2 team, composed of Frenchman Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA), Americans Shane Kimbroh and Megan MacArthur and Japanese Akihiko Hoshid took a picture with the seven astronauts already in orbit. Station.
The International Space Station is unusually populated, with eleven passengers, as the newcomers will live for a few days with a crew from Crew-1, SpaceX’s previous mission, before the latter returns to Earth.
This is the first time that the SpaceX mission has transported a European astronaut to the International Space Station, and Thomas Pisquet praised the international cooperation that made this possible.
He said, “It has been 20 years since the Japanese Space Agency (Japan Space Agency), European Space Agency (European Space Agency), NASA and Russian astronauts were not together in space, so that’s what happens historically. Today.”
In French, he added, “I would like to thank all the people who worked on this mission.”
Crew-2 members had taken off from the Kennedy Space Center approximately 23 hours before Friday dawn.
The performance is a new success for the private SpaceX, which has established itself on NASA’s space transportation agency, at a time when Boeing’s Starliner capsule is piling up on its test flights.
With the success of its first manned test flight in May 2020, SpaceX broke the Russian monopoly on flights to the International Space Station. He restored the ability to accomplish this feat after the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.