The move marks the start of a month-long airline record program with two launches and two landings on four US and Russian spacecraft, transporting seven new crew members to the station and bringing seven others back to Earth.
The Crew Dragon "Resilience" spacecraft retreats away from the space station.
With commander Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese space scientist Soichi Noguchi ready and arrested, the SpaceX Crew-1 Dragon "Resilience" was removed from the front harbor at the end of the nearby Harmony module station at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
The spacecraft retreated instantly and fired the thrusters in precision order to reach the point directly above the Harmony space shuttle. The capsule then slipped in to be placed in space first, and a port holding mechanism was installed at 7:08 p.m.
Crew Dragon commander Mike Hopkins, left, and Victor Glover use touch screens to monitor the progress of the transit from one harbor to another to open the way for the arrival of new crew later this month and a cargo ship this summer.
A series of personnel exchanges will begin on Friday with the launch of the Russian spacecraft Soyuz from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying two astronauts and a NASA spacecraft. A week later, another Soyuz will leave the station, carrying two other scientists and another NASA astronaut back to Earth.
A short "taxi" aircraft made by Crew-1 Dragon on Monday was needed to unload the port station ahead of the arrival of SpaceX Crew Dragon carrying two NASA astronauts, a Japanese flier and a member of the European Space Agency staff. Crew-2 astronauts are scheduled to launch on the Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on April 22.
The Crew Dragon backed up to a distance of 180 meters in front of the station, as shown here, before ascending to a higher point above the harbor overlooking the Harmony module space and backward to reach the dock.
Hopkins, Glover, Walker and Noguchi are scheduled to resume on April 28 to return to Earth via the Atlantic Ocean where they will close for 164 days of work.
The departure of Crew-1 from the port overlooking the Harmony space will make way for the arrival of the SpaceX Cargo Dragon this summer which will bring a new set of solar arrangements to the space station.
On Monday the evacuation of the Crew Dragon was designed to allow the Cargo Dragon to enter the harbor overlooking the Harmony space, the arm of the laboratory robots I could reach to remove the sun-strapped bed linens from the stern of the unused ship.
The arm cannot reach the rear part of the trunk of the dragon mounted on the front port.