SpaceX’s crew Dragon Endeavor docks at the International Space Station on April 24, 2021.
The second operational SpaceX crew mission arrived on the International Space Station early Saturday morning and carried four astronauts for a six-month stay in space.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship ‘Endeavor’, launched the day before with a Falcon 9 rocket, docked at the ISS at 5:22 a.m. EDT. The capsule carries an international squad of astronauts: Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur from NASA, Akihiko Hoshide from JAXA and Thomas Pesquet from ESA.
“Welcome to the ISS, we are very pleased to have you on board,” said NASA astronaut and space station commander, Shannon Walker.
The Crew 2 mission temporarily increases the total number of astronauts on board the revolving research laboratory to 11.
The view from SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship Endeavor of the International Space Station, as well as the company’s Crew Dragon spaceship Resilience, as the capsule approached the dock on April 24, 2021.
Endeavor joins another Crew Dragon spaceship, Resilience, which arrived on the space station in November with astronauts for the Crew 1 mission. SpaceX plans to bring Resilience back to Earth with the four Crew 1 astronauts on Wednesday April 28th.
From left: Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet from ESA, Pilot Megan McArthur from NASA, Commander Shane Kimbrough from NASA and Mission Specialist Akihiko Hoshide from JAXA.
The Crew 2 mission marks additional innovations for SpaceX, with the company reusing both a rocket and capsule for the mission. Endeavor previously flew the Demo 2 mission and the Falcon 9 rocket booster previously launched the Crew 1 mission. In addition, SpaceX surpassed the total number of astronauts launched under the Mercury program, which began in 1958.