Dragon Endeavour has completed the first half of her round trip mission to the space station. Spacecraft Commander Doug Hurley and Joint Operations Commander Bob Behnken have “Captured the Flag” as the first crew to reach the ISS from the United States since the last Space Shuttle mission in 2011.
Endeavour lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket Saturday, leaving LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:22 PM EDT (19:22 UTC). After a flawless ride uphill, Endeavour separated from Falcon 9’s second stage and opened its nosecone. This exposed the spacecraft’s docking port as well as an array of Draco maneuvering thrusters, and began the nineteen hours of tests and maneuvers to rendezvous with the ISS.