Crew 5 Arrives at the International Space Station

spacex crew-5 launch

The remainder of Expedition 68 has arrived at the International Space Station. SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance lifted off from LC-39A in Florida on October 5th.

Following a mostly uneventful countdown, Crew 5 lifted off on top of a Falcon 9 rocket at 12:00:56 Eastern time and successfully reached orbit 9 minutes later. The only event of note was the discovery of a hair around the seal of the Dragon side hatch. This required the hatch to be reopened, having the FOD (Foreign Object Debris) cleared, then resealed.

Once on orbit, the crew doffed (took off) their suits and got comfortable for their 28 hour journey to the station. Endurance‘s chase of the orbiting laboratory involved a series of pre-planned engine firings to add speed and raise its orbit at the right times to finally catch up and dock with the station.

Crew Dragon Endurance’s path to the ISS. From

Crew 5 wasted no time and already started doing experiments even before arriving. With the spare time they had before docking operations began on the morning of October 6th, the crew did some experiments for SpaceX to help improve the use of the Dragon spacecraft.

Joint docking operations between SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, CA and the ISS mission control in Houston, TX began as Endurance came with the approach initiation burn at 2:27 pm Central time. The automated process culminated with a soft docking at 4:01 pm Central time followed by hard capture immediately after which permanently mates the Dragon capsule to the station.

Crew Dragon Resilience arriving in April of 2021. Source: NASA

Following docking, the crew will once again doff their suits which are only used for dynamic phases of the mission (launch, dock/undock and reentry) and begin hatch opening operations. Once open and the crews have said their hellos, there will be a welcome ceremony which will be broadcast on NASA tv and on the NASA youtube channel.

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