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Astronauts aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule docked Sunday at the International Space Station, concluding a one-day trip to rendezvous with the orbiting laboratory after launching from Florida.
The capsule made first contact with the space station at 9:16 a.m. ET Sunday and its hatches are expected to open about two hours later.
Hailing from four countries — making this mission, called Crew-7, the most nationally diverse SpaceX mission to date — the astronauts include NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, the mission commander; Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency; Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA; and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos.
The four launched aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:27 a.m. ET Saturday, and they’ve spent the last day free-flying aboard the 13-foot-wide capsule as it slowly maneuvered toward the space station.
Moghbeli, Mogensen, Furukawa and Borisov are joining the seven astronauts already on the orbiting laboratory.
The Crew-7 astronauts will spend about five days taking over operations from the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts, who have been on the space station since March.
The new team will then bid farewell to the SpaceX Crew-6 astronauts, who will return home aboard their spacecraft, the Crew Dragon Endeavour, in the coming days.
This mission marks the eighth flight operated by NASA and SpaceX as part of the agency’s commercial crew program, which has been ferrying astronauts to the space station since SpaceX’s first crewed mission in 2020.