A day after the SpaceX unmanned Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station, astronauts floated aboard the world’s first privately owned supply ship.
Donald Pettit, NASA astronaut, was the first to go inside the docked capsule, according to Syracuse. Pettit noted that the Dragon could carry about as much cargo as his pickup truck in Houston, and that it smelled like a brand new car. He also stated:
“I spent quite a bit of time poking around in here this morning, just looking at the engineering and the layout, and I’m very pleased.”
The Space Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group, said in a statement, according to Syracuse, that:
“This event isn’t just a simple door opening between two spacecraft — it opens the door to a future in which U.S. industry can and will deliver huge benefits for U.S. space exploration.”
During a news conference on Saturday, Fox News reports that Pettit stated:
“This is kind of the equivalent of the golden spike. And one other interesting detail — nobody remembers who pounded that golden spike in. The important thing is to remember that the railroad was completed and was now open for use.”
NASA is handing over orbital delivery work to American business, in order to focus on bigger objective, such as getting astronauts to asteroids and Mars, according to Fox News. The space agency is hoping that the successful mission of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, will allow for ferry trips of astronauts to begin soon.
Fox News reports that SpaceX hopes its Dragon capsules will be carrying space station astronauts up and down from the ISS within three or four years.