The International Space Station welcomed four additional crew members with the arrival and docking of the SpaceX Dragon capsule after a 27-hour voyage.
The spacecraft, dubbed "Resilience," made a so-called soft capture docking at 11:01 p.m. U.S. Eastern time Monday. The hard capture sequence completed about 15 minutes later, setting the stage for the crew to enter the space station in a few hours to begin a six-month science mission aboard the orbiting lab.
The mission, which followed a successful test flight by SpaceX earlier this year with two astronauts, is the first in the history of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration with a full crew ferried by a commercial transporter. A second NASA vendor, Boeing Co., is working to overcome delays caused by software flaws before shuttling astronauts to the space station, possibly in 2021.
The astronauts arriving at the station began their workday earlier in the day with mission controllers at Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. playing the Phil Collins song "In the Air Tonight" for a 12:10 p.m. wake-up call. The Dragon blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center late Sunday.
The crew is comprised of NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They will join two Russian cosmonauts, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins. That trio arrived last month on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft.