The first American commercially built-and-operated crew spacecraft in eight years docked successfully Sunday at the International Space Station.

There was, however, no crew aboard the spacecraft, just a test dummy named Ripley, in a nod to the lead character in the Alien movies.

The docking was carried out autonomously by the Crew Dragon capsule, as the three astronauts on board the International Space Station watched.

The Space X Crew Dragon capsule lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket early Saturday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

The Dragon brought supplies and test equipment to the space station where it will spend five days as astronauts conduct tests and inspect the Dragon’s cabin.

NASA has awarded millions of dollars to Space X and Boeing to design and operate a capsule to launch astronauts into orbit from American soil some time this year.

It is not immediately clear whether that goal will be reached.

Space X is entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company. Musk is also the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla.

Currently, America relies on Russia to launch astronauts to the space station.

Russia charges about $80 million per ticket.


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