SpaceX has confirmed that after the launch of the unmanned Crew Dragon, it has reached the International Space Station.
Launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, the Crew Dragon is set to return to earth later this week.
The test flight has been made without crew on board to allow SpaceX to demonstrate its capabilities to safely and reliably fly astronauts to and from the ISS as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
The spacecraft is equipped with a highly reliable launch escape system capable of carrying crew to safety at any point during ascent or in the unlikely event of an anomaly on the pad and, while the crew can take manual control of the spacecraft if necessary, Crew Dragon missions will autonomously dock and undock with the International Space Station.
After undocking from the space station and re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, Crew Dragon will use an enhanced parachute system to splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
On this first test flight, Crew Dragon will transport roughly 400 pounds of crew supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.
After docking on March 3 at 6.02am, the device is expected to depart autonomously on March 8.