19 hours after the successful launch of the missionCrew Dragon held as part of the SpaceX Demo-2 program, the spacecraft docked with the International Space Station. NASA broadcasted the entire phase of the docking and preparing for the meeting of astronauts live. The docking process took place automatically, except for the maneuvering phase performed manually by Crew Dragon pilots.
During the flight from Earth to the ISS, astronauts DouglasHurley and Robert Benken twice switched to manual mode. The second time was carried out during the docking process, and was carried out in order to test the Crew Dragon maneuverability in the immediate vicinity of the ISS. The final stage of the docking was again in automatic mode. For maneuvering engines, Crew Dragon uses 16 Draco engines, fueled with a mixture of monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) and diazotetraoxide (N2O4).
Among the significant advantages of the ship CrewDragon should be noted the full automation of the process of docking with the ISS using the universal international docking node IDA, designed for private spacecraft. The automatic docking process was tested during the mission of the first Crew Dragon unmanned mission to the ISS in March 2019 as part of the Demo-1 mission.
Docking Crew Dragon with the International Spacethe station was carried out at 17:16 Moscow time (soft coupling) and ended with a rigid coupling at 17:27. At the next stage, the process of normalizing the pressure in the transition gateway and equalizing the temperature began. The ship was also connected to the power system of the station. At the end of this part of the flight, constant participants in the expedition commander Christopher Cassidy (USA) and flight engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner (Russia) will receive guests at the station, opening the passage hatches from the side of the ISS and from the side of Crew Dragon.
IN 20:00 both hatches between the Crew Dragon and the ISS were opened and after routine procedures Douglas Hurley and Robert Benken moved to the station, where they were met by three members of the permanent expedition. Astronauts held a joint press conference.
Currently unknown durationstay of astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Benken on the ISS. The time frame for the Demo-2 project is quite wide: from one to four months and is limited only by the effective operation of the Crew Dragon solar power plants.
NASA announced that the decision on the exactThe length of stay of the astronauts and Crew Dragon on the ISS will be determined shortly. Upon completion of the stay program at the Douglas station, Hurley and Robert Benken will switch to Crew Dragon, disconnect from the station, and after performing a number of orbit maneuvers, they will enter dense atmospheres, begin braking, and at the final stage they will release parachutes for a softer landing.
One of the features of Crew Dragon shipsis landing on the water surface, which provides more effective cushioning in contact with the surface of the Earth. Waterlogging will be carried out in the Florida area of the Atlantic Ocean. The search operation will be carried out by a special rescue vessel Go Navigator.
The next, already scheduled flight USCV-1 (US CrewVehicle-1) will be carried out already in September-October of this year on the ship Crew Dragon with the number C207. Four astronauts will take part in the expedition: three Americans and one from Japan from the Japanese space agency JAXA. The duration of this mission will be 210 days.