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Astronauts Make First Flight Aboard Private Enterprise Spacecraft
June 1, 2020
A two-man crew aboard a U.S. private enterprise spacecraft launched from Florida and docked with the International Space Station over the past weekend.
Astronauts Hurley and Behnken from NASA comprised the crew on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule which made its historic flight launching from pad 39A Kennedy Space Center on Saturday 3:22:45 p.m. EDT.
The Crew Dragon then docked with the ISS 19 hours later on Sunday 10:16 a.m.
Left, SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches into its historic flight; and right, the Crew Dragon capsule (named 'Endeavor' by the crew) prepares to dock with the International Space Station.
The flight marks the first time in history astronauts utilized a purely private sector to launch into orbit and the first time in nine years that astronauts have launched from U.S. soil.
The capsule will remain docked for up to four months allowing the two astronauts to perform NASA and partner research duties along with other maintenance and experimental projects.
The NASA astronauts named the capsule ‘Endeavor’ after the retired Space Shuttle in 2011 and the spacecraft both Hurley and Behnken made their first flights on.
The launch and docking took place amidst a world pandemic and a recent outbreak of protests throughout the U.S.