CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Nearly 24 hours after launching from Florida, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule delivered NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on Sunday, marking the first U.S. space capsule to do so with a crew since 2011.
The space station’s current crew welcomed them aboard with hugs and handshakes on schedule at 1:25 p.m. EDT, after executing a critical spacecraft docking milestone and kicking off the crew’s potentially months-long stay in the orbital laboratory.
Applause could be heard from the station’s downlink to mission control in Houston, Texas as Behnken, 49, and Hurley 53, became the first American astronauts launched to the station from U.S. soil in nearly a decade.
“I will tell you, the whole world saw this mission, and we are so, so proud for everything you have done for our country and in fact to inspire the world,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said on a phone line through mission control. …
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