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.

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.”

Emerging Tech

A lunar time capsule: 50-year-old moon rock samples to be opened for study

Nearly 50 years after the Apollo missions to the Moon, NASA is breaking open samples of Moon rock for the first time. Samples collected from Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17 have been preserved and never before exposed to Earth's atmosphere.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

These are the classic NES games that helped redefine gaming

The NES left an indelible mark on pop culture and revolutionized the gaming industry. Check out our picks for the best NES games, whether you prefer an immersive RPG, side-scrolling brawler, or something else entirely.
Emerging Tech

We’re going to the red planet! All the past, present, and future missions to Mars

SpaceX isn't the only organization pining to visit the Red Planet. Here's a detailed list of all operational and planned missions to Mars, along with explanations of their objectives, spacecraft details, and mission proposals.
Emerging Tech

It’s not time travel, but scientists can turn back clock on a quantum computer

Physicists have demonstrated that they can wind back the clock on a quantum computer a fraction of a second. Don't get too excited about the prospect of human time travel any time soon, though.
Emerging Tech

This very talented robotic leg learned to walk all by itself

Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a robotic limb capable of walking without preprogrammed knowledge of the task. It’s an impressive feat that could help future robots navigate the world independently.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Opportunity’s final image is a haunting panorama of the Martian surface

The Opportunity mission to Mars may be no more, but the rover's legacy lives on. Now NASA has released the final image captured by Opportunity, and it's a stunning panorama of the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous image of the Cosmic Bat nebula leaves us starry-eyed

The "Cosmic Bat" nebula has been captured in beautiful detail by the European Southern Observatory. Formally known as NGC 1788, the nebula is two thousand light-years away in a dark corner of the Orion constellation.
Emerging Tech

Super telescope captures supermassive black holes forming billions of years ago

The Subaru Telescope in Hawaii has captured evidence of supermassive black holes forming in the ancient universe. Astronomers discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes from billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Mind-bending model shows Venus isn’t our nearest neighbor — it’s Mercury

Every textbook and table on the internet agrees -- the closest planet to Earth is Venus. But a new mathematical model shows that this is wrong. In fact, the planet closest to us on average is Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Desk lamps take on a new task by converting their light to power

What if we could charge devices using light from indoor sources like desk lamps? A group of scientists working on a technology called organic photovoltaics (OPVs) aim to do just that.
Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.