Home Science NASA Clears SpaceX Crew Dragon March 2 Test Flight to Space Station – Geek

NASA Clears SpaceX Crew Dragon March 2 Test Flight to Space Station – Geek

6 min read
0
29

It’s a “go” for SpaceX’s first uncrewed flight of its passenger capsule. After a flight readiness review Friday, NASA and SpaceX have decided to proceed with plans to conduct Demo-1, the first uncrewed test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Crew Dragon will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:48 a.m. EST Saturday, March 2. It is scheduled to dock to the space station at approximately 5:55 a.m. Sunday, March 3, according to NASA.

No one will be aboard the Crew Dragon Demo-1 flight to the ISS, only an instrumented dummy in a white SpaceX spacesuit. But if all goes well, two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will take off aboard  Crew Dragon Demo-2 on the first piloted test flight scheduled for July.

Next week’s mission is considered a critical milestone in NASA’s $6.8 billion Commercial Crew Program, intended to end the agency’s reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, currently the only operational astronaut-transportation system in the world since the space shuttle’s retirement eight years ago. That arrangement was costing NASA tens of millions of dollars per seat, according to the Associated Press.

The mission will also be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft designed for humans will launch to the space station.

An artist’s impression of a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on final approach to the International Space Station. (Photo Credit: NASA)

A phenomenal amount of work has gone into ensuring the capsule does not endanger the space station and its three occupants as it pulls up and docks, William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, NASA Human Exploration and Operations, said during a press conference.

During the review on Friday, crew members on station utilized a computer-based trainer and reviewed procedures to refresh themselves with the Crew Dragon spacecraft systems, rendezvous and docking, ingress operations, changes to emergency responses, and vehicle departure.

The flight plan calls for the Demo-1 Crew Dragon to stay at the orbiting lab for just under a week, undocking on March 8 and aiming for a splashdown in the Atlantic off Florida. Radiation monitors and supplies are going up, and science samples and used equipment are coming down.

[embedded content]

SpaceX recovery crews stationed nearby will pull the capsule onto its recovery ship GO Searcher and haul it back to Port Canaveral for detailed post-flight inspections.

NASA is also working with another Commercial Crew partner, Boeing, which is scheduled to fly its own capsule, the CST-100 Starliner, for its first test flight without crew in April.

Two days before launch, on Thursday, Feb. 28, NASA will hold a pre-launch press conference to discuss the launch, which will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the the agency’s website.

More on Geek.com:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

Load More Related Articles
Load More By sudo
Load More In Science

Check Also

Boeing delays by months test flights for U.S. human space program: sources – Yahoo News

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference…