Update – National News
NASA astronauts board International Space Station in historic SpaceX mission.
The hatch was opened at 1:02 p.m. ET. After making final preparations, the astronauts were warmly welcomed aboard the orbiting space lab by fellow NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, commander of the Space Station’s Expedition 63 and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. Behnken was the first to enter the space station.
SPACEX MAKES HISTORY, LAUNCHES NASA ASTRONAUTS INTO SPACE FROM US SOIL FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2011
During a welcome ceremony, Hurley said that the mission can serve as an inspiration at a difficult time when the world has been battling the coronavirus pandemic. “This is just one effect, that we can show for the ages, in this dark time that we have had over the last few months, to kind of inspire, especially these young people in the United States,” he said.
The mission is also the first time a private company, rather than a national government, has sent astronauts into orbit.
In this image taken from NASA TV video, the SpaceX Dragon crew capsule, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken aboard, docks with the International Space Station Sunday, May 31, 2020. (NASA TV via AP).