Frenchman Thomas Pesquet is the first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut to fly in the billionaire tech entrepreneur’s space capsule, alongside Nasa’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, and Jaxa’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Akihiko Hoshide, who is on his second mission to the space station. The capsule docked at around 10.19am on Saturday UK time.
Elon Musk said, “I’m just really proud of the SpaceX team and honoured to be partnered with Nasa and helping with Jaxa and ESA as well,”
“It’s very intense, I suppose it does get a little bit easier but it’s still extremely intense,” he said. “I usually can’t sleep the night before launch and that’s true of the night before this one.”
The “recycled” Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon rocket combination sent four astronauts to the ISS last November and the capsule transported and returned two astronauts during the first crewed SpaceX flight last May.
The crew will replace Nasa’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Jaxa’s Soichi Noguchi, who are scheduled to return to Earth next Wednesday in another SpaceX capsule.