The docking occurred a little early, barely 19 hours after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Saturday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center, the nation's first astronaut launch to orbit from home soil in almost a decade.
President Donald Trump flew to Florida to watch the launch and delivered remarks to NASA and SpaceX employees on what he called a "special day".
"Let's light this candle", Hurley said before liftoff. Aside from a lone Draco maneuvering thruster showing an out-of-family temperature sensor reading shortly after reaching orbit, no other glitches have been noted on NASA and SpaceX's uninterrupted webcast.
"Docking confirmed - Crew Dragon has arrived at the International Space Station!". Prior to climbing into a specially designed Tesla automobile for the ride to the launch site, Behnken told his young son, "Be good for mom".
"It is absolutely our honor to be part of this huge effort to get the United States back in the launch business".
"I have never seen a crew so calm and focused leading up to a launch as these two were", said NASA Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester, who has lived with the Demo-2 crew in quarantine inside Kennedy Astronaut Crew Quarters for the past several days. It is the same launch pad, that was used during the Apollo mission to the moon a half-century ago.
The news of a "go" for weather is a welcome development after the conditions were touch-and-go throughout the morning.
"Bravo on a magnificent moment in space flight history", NASA's Mission Control piped in from Houston.
This Demo-2 mission is a way of SpaceX showing that it can safely take astronauts to the International Space Station, and get them back in one piece.
NASA-SpaceX Demo-2 successful separation of the second Falcon 9 stage
On board are astronauts Bob Behnkhen and Doug Hurley, both veterans of the Space Shuttle program that was shuttered in 2011. Both are supposed to be there for one and four months working.
SpaceX becomes the first private company to launch people into orbit, a feat achieved previously by only three governments: the U.S., Russian Federation and China.
He vowed the USA will be the first to land on Mars, promising a "future of American dominance in space".
As part of the launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket successfully landed on the company's drone ship, appropriately named Of Course I Still Love You. Perhaps even more importantly, the milestone marks the first time USA astronauts have traveled to or from the ISS on a domestic vehicle since the Space Shuttle's last launch and landing in July 2011.
He said the aim for the launch is to "give hope for many people who need it right now, and also to unite our country and the world".
"I thank and congratulate Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, and the SpaceX and NASA teams for this significant achievement for the United States".
Hurley and Behnken launched at 3:22 PM EDT (12:22 PM PDT) on Saturday, taking off from Cape Canaveral in Florida as planned.
Musk, the founder of PayPal and the electric auto manufacturer Tesla, was emotional at a press conference following the launch, which was attended by Donald Trump and Mike Pence, the U.S. vice-president.