[WATCH] SpaceX mission: Capsule docks at International Space Station

Confirmation of the Dragon capsule’s attachment occurred at 2:16 pm GMT, 422 km above the border between China and Mongolia

The SpaceX rocket launching on Friday
The SpaceX rocket launching on Friday

Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket has successfully docked at the International Space Station.

The docking was being live streamed on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) social media channels.

Prior to docking, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken practiced manual flying until getting within a couple of meters from the ISS.

Having launched on Friday, it is the first time in nine years that the US space agency has sent astronauts from US soil.

The mission marks the beginning of a new era in which NASA will be purchasing transport services from the commercial sector. No more will it own and operate the vehicles that run to and from the station.

This will be done by firms like Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Hurley and Behnken approached the ISS using the ‘Dragon capsule’.

Prior to joining the Russian and American crew already at the ISS, leak and pressure checks have to be carried out.

Confirmation of the Dragon's attachment at the ISS came at 2:16 pm GMT, slightly ahead of schedule, 422km above the border between northern China and Mongolia.

The attachment process was fully automated.

Media reports suggest SpaceX and NASA want to move swiftly to the next phase of the $2.6 billion contract which will see six crew taxi flights, with the first to occur at the end of August.

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