Published: Сб, Марта 02, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

SpaceX Crew Dragon, Built to Carry Humans, Launches Demo Flight

SpaceX Crew Dragon, Built to Carry Humans, Launches Demo Flight

If all goes well, the capsule design will undergo a few more reviews and safety checks, and it could be ready to fly two NASA astronauts to the space station in July, based on the space agency's current timeline.

He said: "That is something we have to practise in preparation for crewed flight to make sure we're fast in the right spots, and have all the potential medical attention at the right time". NASA is providing eight billion USA dollars for SpaceX and Boeing to build and operate these new systems.

Either SpaceX or Boeing will have bragging rights as the first private company to launch humans into space on its own rocket, although plans call for rockets built by both companies to carry astronauts into space. "And then re-entry", Musk said at a press conference, held in the Kennedy Space Center, when asked which stages of the Dragon 2 mission he anxious about most.

The capsule is scheduled to reach the ISS by Sunday at around 11am with a return to Earth next Friday. When the space shuttle was in operation, it could launch a payload of 27,500 kilograms for $1.5 billion, or $54,500 per kilogram. Although the Dragon capsule itself is created to carry a crew of up to seven astronauts skyward, the one that launched on Saturday - Demo-1 is its designation - is more of a test run: it's carrying a few hundred pounds of cargo, plus a sensor-filled dummy named "Ripley".

Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russian Federation about $80 million per seat to send USA astronauts to space aboard Soyuz rockets - a fact that isn't very popular in the halls of Congress.

Instead of solar wings, solar cells are on the spacecraft itself. He marvels at how the Dragon has just 30 buttons and touch screens, compared with the space shuttle cockpit's 2,000 switches and circuit breakers.

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The docking represents a "very critical mission", Kirk Shireman, the manager of NASA's space station program, told reporters last week.

Flight operations team members - some of them new to this - also need the six-day trial run, according to Kennedy Space Center's director, Robert Cabana.

"Seeing a success like this definitely gives us a lot of confidence in the future, " Behnken said. Musk jokingly said they better wait a week, until the Dragon returns, before responding.

Though Demo-1 is astronaut-free, Crew Dragon is carrying one lifeless - but lifelike - passenger, a dummy outfitted with a variety of sensors so scientists can measure the forces exerted on the body during the mission.

Boeing is now scheduled to follow SpaceX's flight with an uncrewed test launch of its Starliner spacecraft as early as next month.

The Falcon rockets are famous for being self-landing and reusable, and once again the boosters managed to land themselves onto a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. "That would be pretty cool, " he said.

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