The Crew Dragon just before docking on Sunday. Photo: NASA TV

SpaceX's Crew Dragon safely delivered two NASA astronauts — Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — to the International Space Station on Sunday after the company's historic launch Saturday.

Why it matters: This marks the first time a private company has delivered people to the space station, and it signals the beginning of the end of NASA's reliance on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for flights to orbit.

Details: Behnken and Hurley docked to the station at 10:16am ET after spending about 19 hours flying through space to catch up to the orbiting outpost.

  • During that flight, the two astronauts ate meals, slept for about eight hours and performed a number of systems checkouts ahead of docking.
  • Behnken and Hurley join NASA's Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner aboard the ISS.
  • This mission marks SpaceX's final test flight of its crewed system before it's certified for fully operational missions to the station.

The big picture: NASA hopes to continue working with private companies in the future in order to become a buyer of services in low-Earth orbit, opening up the agency to work on getting humans to the Moon and beyond.

What's next: The Crew Dragon and its astronauts will stay docked to the space station for at least the next month and could remain in orbit longer, depending on how the capsule performs in orbit.

  • NASA expects the first operational mission will occur in August or September, flying three NASA astronauts and a Japanese astronaut to orbit.
  • Boeing is also partnering with NASA to bring astronauts to the space station.
  • A troubled uncrewed test flight of Boeing's Starliner system is forcing the longtime NASA contractor to redo that test later this year before launching its first crewed mission, which is expected next year.

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Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Sep 1, 2020 - Science

Rocket scientist Tory Bruno's vision of the future

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United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno believes humanity's push to explore the solar system could one day reduce poverty on Earth.

Why it matters: ULA is the workhorse of the space industry, with a high rate of success for the rockets it flies and big government and commercial contracts. It is well-positioned to one day act as the ride for companies and nations hoping to push farther into deep space.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 31,120,980 — Total deaths: 961,656— Total recoveries: 21,287,328Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 6,819,651 — Total deaths: 199,606 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  5. Business: Unemployment concerns are growing.
  6. World: "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Democrats on Monday released their proposal for short-term legislation to fund the government through December 11.

Why it matters: This is Congress' chief legislative focus before the election. They must pass a continuing resolution (CR) before midnight on Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown — something both Hill leaders and the White House have claimed is off the table.