Technology 3 min read

SpaceX Update: Crew Dragon Capsule All Set to Return Home

In a landmark achievement for SpaceX, the agency's Crew Dragon capsule has successfully docked on the International Space Station.

Image captured of the Crew Dragon capsule successfully docking to the ISS. ¦ Image via NASA

Image captured of the Crew Dragon capsule successfully docking to the ISS. ¦ Image via NASA

Despite China’s surprise launch of their own space station, the Internet remains atwitter about the SpaceX International Space Station docking. More importantly, they want to see what happens when the Dragon Crew Rocket returns back to Earth.

New Potential for Upcoming American Expeditions

As you probably know, the Crew Dragon capsule docked with the ISS at around 6 AM Eastern Standard Time on March 3, 2019. The capsule even contained a human-sized test dummy aptly named Ripley of Alien fame.

But another passenger greeted U.S. astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Sait-Jacques upon opening the capsule: a stuffed Earth toy. Elon Musk himself called the Celestial Buddies brand toy a “super high tech zero-g indicator.”

The company now has this particular plush on backorder due to its sudden, meteoric popularity.

Unfortunately, the third astronaut aboard the ISS, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, had to stay in the Russian section of the ISS due to Roscosmos contingency procedures. However, Kononenko did capture some truly spectacular images of the Crew Dragon capsule.

Due to the scuttling of the NASA Space Shuttle Program in 2011, only Russian rockets are in use.

This first successful autonomous docking indicates that SpaceX may be able to help NASA get new astronauts up to the ISS in the future. SpaceX indicates that they want to send up their first crewed flight as early as July.

This truly marks a momentous occasion for all of humanity. Astronaut McClain echoed this sentiment in her statement after the docking:

“Our sincere congrats to all earthlings who have enabled the opening of this next chapter in space exploration. And congratulations to all nations, private space firms, and individuals who wake up every day driven by the magic of exploration. This day belongs to all of us.”

image of Anne McClain the U.S. Astronaut admiring an Earth stuffed plushie for article
Anne McClain, U.S. Astronaut and crew member of the ISS, enjoys the presence of Celestial Buddies’ Earth plushie. | NASA TV

Where to Watch the Capsule Return to Earth

You can catch the NASA Livestream of the Crew Dragon capsule’s return on March 8th starting at 2 AM Eastern Standard Time. The craft should land somewhere off the coast of Florida. SpaceX and NASA can use the mission data to determine if the capsule module is ready for human trials.

In the meantime, I suggest getting more familiar with SpaceX’s technology. This won’t be the last time you hear from them.

Read More: SpaceX’s Starship to Make its First Flight by 2020

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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