SpaceX’s recycled Dragon capsule, which was carrying four astronauts, has docked with the International Space Station (ISS). It’s the first time Elon Musk’s company has successfully carried crew in a spaceship that’s been used before.
The Dragon capsule was launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Friday (April 23).
It successfully reached the ISS on Saturday morning, the following day, some 260 miles above the Indian Ocean.
While it’s not the first time SpaceX has successfully flown an astronaut crew into space, it is a ground-breaking first for Elon Musk and his space agency.
It’s the first time a rocket has been redeployed back into space, after making a previous trip with astronauts.
The successful mission also marks the first time that two Crew Dragons had docked with the ISS at the same time.
The first Dragon launched astronauts to the space station in May 2020.
It was subsequently followed by the Falcon rocket in November last year.
The latest ISS recruits will be staying at the space station for a full six months as they carry out essential work.
The four astronauts include Nasa’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, who were the commander and the pilot of the Dragon, respectively.
Thomas Pesquet, of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Akihiko Hoshide have also now made it to the ISS for their second visits.
It’s the first time an ESA astronaut has flown to the ISS using a Crew Dragon spacecraft.
In total, that means 11 astronauts will be camped on the ISS for the next four days.
SpaceX fans were delighted to hear of the successful mission.
One Twitter user replied: “The whole world will be grateful to you, you will bring man and the first woman to the moon and make Mars a colony. Thanks for everything.”
Another fan said: “Perfectly executed. Historical moment with 2 dragons docked with the Space Station. Congratulations SpaceX!”
“Congratulations Spacex team,” added another. “Can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for us.”