Space X's Crew Dragon capsule docks with International Space Station

SpaceX's new crew capsule has arrived at the International Space Station, completing its second milestone in just over a day.

Three space station astronauts had front-row seats as the Dragon neatly docked on Sunday morning and became the first American-made, designed-for-crew spacecraft to pull up in eight years.

While SpaceX has sent plenty of cargo Dragons to the space station, crew Dragon is a different vehicle.

It docked autonomously, instead of relying on the station's robot arm for help.

The view as the capsule approached the space station

The Crew Dragon capsule successfully launched from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Saturday.

NASA said the the unmanned craft was a significant step for "launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil again for the first time since the retirement of the space".

The only passenger aboard the capsule is a life-size test dummy, named Ripley from the Alien movies.

However, the test flight is training for the next space demo, possibly this summer, when two astronauts strap in.

This was the view of the capsule 3,000 metres away from the orbiting lab.

The Crew Dragon capsule will deliver about 180 kilograms of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

  • Images from Crew Dragon's launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a demo Crew Dragon spacecraft Credit: AP
The launch will provide vital data to SpaceX Credit: AP
The American space agency ended its own Space Shuttle in 2011. Credit: AP