A day after SpaceX rocketed four astronauts into orbit, the crew gave a video tour of their Crew Dragon spaceship.
NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japanese Aerospace Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Sunday night. Their itinerary requires them to spend 27 hours inside the capsule, which they named named "Resilience," before reaching the space station.
So on Monday, the crew took a few minutes to show the world their spaceship.
"Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and welcome onboard Crew Dragon Resilience," Mission Commander Mike Hopkins says in the video, which NASA streamed live. "Victor, Shannon, Soichi, and I are very pleased to welcome you on board as we journey to the International Space Station."
You can watch their video tour below.
'It's actually quite nice'
The launch of Crew-1, as the mission is called, marked the beginning of one of SpaceX's most important flights yet: the company's first full-length crewed mission for NASA. It's the company's second time launching people into space, but the longest-duration human spaceflight ever launched from the US. The current record, 84 days, has held since the longest Skylab mission more than 45 years ago.
Once the Crew Dragon docks to the ISS on Monday night, the astronauts are expected to live and work on the orbiting laboratory for about half a year.
Hopkins began the video tour of the Crew Dragon by showing off its cockpit, where astronauts sit for launch and landing. He described the three touch display screens from which they can monitor and control the spacecraft.
"We can bring up maps that show where we are over the Earth, and it's actually quite nice," he said.
Hopkins then passed the mic to Glover, the crew's rookie crew member. Glover, the mission's pilot, had logged more than 3,000 hours of flight experience on Earth but had never been to space before. With him in the video is the Baby Yoda stuffed toy that the crew brought up to serve as an indicator that the spaceship had entered microgravity.
"Hello everyone, Victor here," Glover said in the video. "Baby Yoda and I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the hatches."
Floating near an entryway, he continued, "just about 24 hours ago, we entered Resilience through this side hatch."
The crew won't open that hatch again until after they've safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the mission. When they dock to the ISS, they will enter via the forward hatch at the top of the capsule.
During his turn with the mic, Noguchi described the capsule's storage area, and Walker then explained where the crew keeps emergency supplies and clothes. She also demonstrated how to drink from a water bottle in microgravity.
The tour culminated in a heartfelt moment as the team lined up for an in-flight ceremony. Once an astronaut completes two years of basic training, Hopkins explained, they get a silver pin – the sign of an "unflown" astronaut. But once they've traveled 100 kilometers above the Earth, the astronaut receives a golden pin.
"We have one member of our crew who does not have the appropriate, uh, accoutrements for his uniform," he said, turning to Glover.
Hopkins then passed a gold pin to Glover, who held it up to the camera.
"Congratulations," he said, as Noguchi and Glover fist-bumped.
"All for one, Crew-1 for all," the team said before signing off.
Morgan McFall-Johnsen contributed reporting.