Following a dramatic launch, 19-hour voyage and successful docking procedure, pioneering astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley have left the Crew Dragon and are now aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The pair emerged from the Crew Dragon capsule at around 1:15 PM ET and were greeted with bear hugs by astronaut Christopher Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanshin and Ivan Vagner. While describing the ride as less smooth than the space shuttle, Hurley said he “couldn’t be happier” about the Crew Dragon’s performance.
The astronauts, who christened the Crew Dragon “Endeavor,” chatted with NASA executives after their arrival. “It’s great to get the United States back in the crewed launch business,” said Hurley. “And we’re just really glad to be onboard this magnificent complex.” Earlier, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he was “quite overcome with emotion,” adding “this is hopefully the first step on a journey towards civilization on Mars.”