After a successful docking, hatches between the two spacecraft will be opened at about 12:45 p.m. Crew members Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken will be welcomed aboard the International Space Station and become members of the Expedition 63 crew.
"The success of the mission will provide us with additional opportunities that will benefit the whole global programme". "In that vein, let's just say, for those about to launch, we salute you". In preparation for Saturday's flight, SpaceX sent up a Dragon capsule with only a test dummy aboard previous year, and it docked smoothly at the orbiting outpost on autopilot, then returned to Earth in a splashdown.
President Donald Trump delivers remarks in Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building with a mockup of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule in the background.
The shift to commercial crew transportation services in 2010, coming just as the agency's 30-year-old space shuttle program was winding down, marked a real change for NASA.
The US has paid SpaceX and aerospace giant Boeing a total of about $7 billion for their "space taxi" contracts. It's the latest in a series of spectacular explosions to plague the company's Starship program.
The launch comes as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, and as the United States faces nationwide protests after a black man died in Minneapolis while being arrested white police officer.
Speaking to Jim Bridenstine, Mr Hurley said he hoped the mission would inspire young Americans.
On Twitter, however, some retweeted the song "Whitey On The Moon" which was released by Gil Scott-Heron in 1970, the year after the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
Elon Musk, whose SpaceX company has just performed its first manned flight into orbit, replied to greetings from Roscosmos saying he was ready to work with Russian Federation to explore space further.
Mr Musk yesterday said he was "overcome with emotion" after the launch took place.
"This is hopefully the first step on a journey towards civilization on Mars", the SpaceX founder said.
Crew Dragon is expected to remain docked with the ISS for at least a month, and while the exact length of its stay is yet to be decided, the spacecraft used for Demo-2 is capable of remaining in orbit for 110 days. The updated cargo Dragon and Crew Dragon are created to work with the new automated system.
Trump said "we will stand with the family of George Floyd, with the peaceful protesters and with every law-abiding citizen who wants decency, civility, safety and security".
"Thanks for the great ride to space", Hurley told SpaceX ground control.
While Russia saluted the United States, it also stressed Sunday it was puzzled by the frenzy unleashed by what many hailed as the dawn of a new era.
"The success of the mission will provide us with additional opportunities that will benefit the whole global program", cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, Roscosmos executive director for crewed space programs, said in a brief video address. "So that is what we chose to go with". Instead of owning and operating the spacecraft itself, Bridenstine said, the future of the agency will lie with partnering with the growing commercial space sector, as it has with SpaceX.
Space: still very cool, even if there are serious questions to be asked about human space exploration down the line.