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00:40 22-03-2019
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Crew Dragon capsule docks with ISS
World | science | 11:25, 04 March 2019 | 591

AKIPRESS.COM - SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule has been tested in a vacuum, jostled in an acoustic chamber and put through computer simulations. 

Crew Dragon's first test mission launched early Saturday, and a risky and crucial test came Sunday morning when the capsule docked with the International Space Station, CNN reports.

Docking with the space station put Crew Dragon in striking distance of the orbiting laboratory and the three astronauts currently on board the ISS. If the spacecraft lost control, it could have spelled disaster.

Though NASA and SpaceX were confident it would go seamlessly, it was a reminder that "there's always human life at risk," Patrick Forrester, chief of NASA's astronaut office at Johnson Space Center, said last week.

The docking maneuver, which required down-to-the-millisecond precision, was also a first for SpaceX.

The company has for years used its smaller Dragon 1 capsule to haul supplies to and from the space station, but during those missions a long robotic arm has reached out and guided the spacecraft to its port.

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