SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule docked at the International Space Station on Saturday, according to images broadcast live by NASA television.
The first phase (soft capture) began at 09:08 GMT, 424 kilometers above the Indian Ocean.
The second stage (hard capture) took place about ten minutes later, with a mechanism locking the docking by a series of 12 latches between the ISS and the spacecraft.
“Hard Capture over, welcome to Crew-2,” said US astronaut Shannon Walker, current ISS commander.
“Thank you Shannon, we are happy to be here, we will see you all in a few minutes,” replied Endeavor commander, US astronaut Shane Kimbrough.
The vestibule between the capsule and the ISS is now under pressure so that the hatches of Endeavor and the space station can be opened.
The hatches are expected to be open around 7.15 a.m. (11.15 a.m. GMT), with a welcoming ceremony for new arrivals at 7.45 a.m. (11.45 a.m. GMT).
Liftoff took place at dawn at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday, taking the four members of the Crew-2 mission into space: Frenchman Thomas Pesquet for the European Space Agency (ESA), Americans Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur and the Japanese Akihiko Hoshide.
With the success in May 2020 of its first manned test flight, Elon Musk’s private company SpaceX broke the Russian monopoly on flights to the ISS and gave the Americans back the ability to accomplish this feat, after the end of the shuttle program. “Shuttle” spaces in 2011.