“@AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug are suited up, strapped in their seats and ready to be welcomed by the crew aboard the @Space_Station,” NASA tweeted an hour ago.
They’re now just 135 meters away from the space station, and you can watch the docking live on YouTube.
1,024,406 people are already watching…
“NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken reported that the capsule was performing beautifully, as they closed in for the docking,” reports the Associated Press. “The gleaming white capsule was easily visible from the station, its nose cone open exposing its docking hook, as the two spacecraft zoomed a few miles apart above the Atlantic, then Africa, then Asia.”
It’s the first time a privately built and owned spacecraft is carrying crew to the orbiting lab. Hurley, the Dragon’s commander, prepared to take manual control for a brief test, then shift the capsule into automatic for the linkup, 19 hours after liftoff. In case of a problem, the astronauts slipped back into their pressurized launch suits for the docking. The three space station residents trained cameras on the incoming capsule for flight controllers at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, as well as NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
UPDATE: At 7:16 PST, soft capture was successfully completed.
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