San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)

New crew safely docks


The Internatio­nal Space Station’s population swelled to 11 on Saturday with the jubilant arrival of SpaceX’s third crew capsule in less than a year. It’s the biggest crowd up there in more than a decade.

A recycled SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts arrived at the space station a day after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The Dragon capsule docked autonomous­ly with the orbiting outpost more than 260 miles above the Indian Ocean. The hatches swung open a couple hours later, uniting all 11 space travelers.

The newcomers will spend six months at the space station. They’ll replace four astronauts who will return to Earth in their own Dragon capsule Wednesday to end a halfyear mission. NASA planned for a brief overlap so the outgoing SpaceX crew could show the new arrivals around.

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