On Monday, November 16 at 11:01 p.m. EST, 04:01 UTC on November 17, SpaceX’s Dragon autonomously docked with the International Space Station (ISS) after Falcon 9 launched the spacecraft to orbit from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, November 15, 2020.
As part of the Commercial Crew Program, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi flew aboard Dragon on its first six-month operational mission to the space station. After its approximately six-month stay at the orbiting laboratory, Dragon and the astronauts will return to Earth and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
Following Dragon’s second demonstration mission (Demo-2), NASA certified SpaceX for operational crew missions to and from the space station. Crew-1 is the first of three scheduled Dragon human spaceflights over the course of 2020 and 2021.
The return of human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built is a turning point for America’s future space exploration, and it lays the groundwork for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
TO THE SPACE STATION
On its way to the space station, Dragon executed a series of burns that positioned the vehicle progressively closer to the space station before it executed final docking maneuvers.