Tokyo, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)--A U.S. spacecraft carrying four astronauts including Soichi Noguchi from Japan do…
Tokyo, Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)--A U.S. spacecraft carrying four astronauts including Soichi Noguchi from Japan docked with the International Space Station on Tuesday Japan time, a day after its liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Noguchi, 55, who is on his third trip to space, and three U.S. astronauts will stay aboard the ISS for six months.
After the Crew Dragon capsule docked with the ISS at 1:01 p.m. Tuesday Japan time (4:01 a.m. GMT), the astronauts entered the ISS after a hatch connecting the spacecraft and the orbiting laboratory opened at 3:02 p.m.
The Crew Dragon, developed by U.S. company SpaceX, traveled to the ISS almost automatically after the liftoff and docked with the ISS slowly at a speed of less than 10 centimeters per second.
As the hatch opened, the existing ISS crew members welcomed the four with hugs, celebrating their safe arrival.
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi has traveled to the International Space Station on a space shuttle and a Russian capsule. He’s now gearing up to launch on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship, becoming only the third person to launch from Earth into orbit on three different types of spacecraft.
He will join a small club that, so far, only includes NASA astronauts Wally Schirra and John Young. Schirra flew on NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo capsules, while Young rocketed into orbit on two Gemini flights, two Apollo missions, and two space shuttle launches.
“It’s quite an honor to have the same experience like Mr. John Young did,” Noguchi said. “I still remember my astronaut candidate days, when I came here back in 1996, John Young was still flying T-38s. So I had the privilege to fly with him. So it’s definitely quite an honor.”