SpaceX capsule carrying latest astronaut crew arrives at ISS

STORY: Rendezvous of the Crew Dragon capsule with the station less than 16 hours after launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, marked one of the fastest flights by Elon Musk's SpaceX to the ISS from liftoff to docking, NASA webcast commentators said.

The fully automated docking took place at about 7:37 p.m. EDT (2337 GMT) while the Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed Freedom, and the space station were flying about 260 miles (420 km) above the central Pacific Ocean, according to NASA.

The Freedom crew consists of three American NASA astronauts - flight commander Kjell Lindgren, 49; mission pilot Bob Hines, 47; and mission specialist Jessica Watkins, 33 - as well as Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, 45, of the European Space Agency (ESA).

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Musk, the billionaire CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Inc who on Monday clinched a deal to buy social media platform Twitter. It has now launched seven human spaceflights over the past two years.

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