Skip to main content

Watch an ISS astronaut enter the SpaceX crew capsule for the first time

American astronaut Anne McClain has become the first astronaut to climb inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on its debut outing over the weekend.

The historic mission marked the first launch to the space station of a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft designed to carry humans.

Related Videos

On this occasion, the Crew Dragon brought supplies — not people — to the space station, but if the entire mission is a success, we could be just months away from the spacecraft bringing its first humans to space.

Prior to the arrival of the SpaceX crew capsule, McClain tweeted that the ISS crew was enjoying “a quiet night on the space station before the new era of space flight arrives to our front door tomorrow …”

A video (below) posted on the ISS Twitter account shows the astronaut entering the successfully docked capsule to have a look around, at the same time welcoming Ripley (a sensor-laden mannequin that was on board) and Little Earth (a soft toy that functioned as a “super high tech zero-g indicator,” according to SpaceX boss Elon Musk).

Speaking from inside the capsule, McClain said: “Congratulations to all of the teams who made yesterday’s launch and today’s docking a success. These amazing feats show us not how easy our mission is, but how capable we are of doing hard things.”

The Crew Dragon, also known as the Dragon 2, is the successor to the cargo-carrying Dragon capsule that’s been taking supplies to the space station for the last seven years. The spacecraft is capable of carrying up to seven crew members, and, like the Dragon, reaches space via a Falcon 9 rocket launch.

Significant moment

NASA launch manager Steve Stich described the latest mission as “an important step in returning human spaceflight to American soil.”

He said SpaceX and NASA teams had been working side-by-side on the mission, adding that the flight test “will inform the system design, operations, and drive any changes that need to be made ahead of crew flights.”

Following the successful launch early Saturday, Musk said he was “a little emotionally exhausted,” adding that he was pleased SpaceX was making good progress toward its ambition of launching astronauts into space.

“The whole goal of SpaceX was crewed spaceflight [and] improved space exploration technologies,” Musk said. “I really believe in the future of space, and I think it’s important that we become a space-faring civilization and get out there among the stars.”

Editors' Recommendations

Axiom-1 to depart from ISS today after extra days in space
The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship is pictured docked to the Harmony module's space-facing international docking adapter.

Update Sunday April 24: The departure of the Axiom-1 mission from the International Space Station has been delayed by one more day due to continuing bad weather. The mission is now scheduled to depart today, Sunday, April 24 at 8:55 p.m. ET.

Four crew members of the first fully private space tourism mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Axiom-1, are set to head home today. The space tourists have gotten several extra days on the ISS for their money, with their departure from the space station being delayed due to bad weather. There have been poor weather conditions in the splashdown zone off the Florida coast, so the departure of the mission was pushed back several times until the weather cleared.

Read more
Check out this cool NASA image of SpaceX Crew-3’s ride home
A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked at the ISS.

A stunning image shared by NASA shows the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft at the International Space Station (ISS) just a few days before it brings home the Crew-3 astronauts.

Crew Dragon Endurance docked at the International Space Station about 250 miles above Earth. NASA

Read more
NASA footage shows SpaceX Crew-4 training for ISS mission
SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts.

NASA has shared raw footage of SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronauts training for their space station mission that’s set to get underway in just a few days' time.

The 30-minute reel (below) shows NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins, along with Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, undergoing a range of training techniques to prepare them for the ride to and from the International Space Station (ISS), as well as their six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Read more