March 26, 2019

SpaceX Is Getting Ready For the First Uncrewed Crew Dragon Test Flight

10 January 2019, 07:53 | Edward Lowe

SpaceX Is Getting Ready For the First Uncrewed Crew Dragon Test Flight

SpaceX Is Getting Ready For the First Uncrewed Crew Dragon Test Flight

Indeed, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk hinted that the Crew Dragon test flight, called Demo-1, could fly later than that January 17 target.

Musk also tweeted a mock-up picture of the company's giant new rocket, formerly known as BFR.

SpaceX Is Getting Ready For the First Uncrewed Crew Dragon Test Flight
SpaceX Is Getting Ready For the First Uncrewed Crew Dragon Test Flight

It is time for a new era of space exploration where astronauts once again launch into space from American soil. SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk in a tweet on January 5 wrote: "About a month away from the first orbital test flight of crew Dragon". The agreement in place with Russian Federation will allow NASA to send crew on Soyuz flights in 2019, but the sooner SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner spacecrafts are ready for prime time, the better.

Since the retirement of the space shuttle almost eight years ago, NASA has bought expensive rides on Russian rockets.

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Neither SpaceX nor NASA has announced a schedule change as of this writing.

We could be only weeks away from the first major test of a private spaceship created to take American astronauts back to space on an American rocket from American soil.

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SpaceX's Crew Dragon was developed as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program which aims to end the space agency's dependence on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft to transport astronauts to the ISS. The capsule is a crewed updated version of the 2010 SpaceX Dragon cargo ships that have been used to send cargo to the International Space Station - one of them is up there.

SpaceX hopes to make history from Launch Complex 39A, which also hosted the launch of the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969 and the first space shuttle mission in 1981. The spacecraft is created to fly up to seven astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit. The other company, Boeing has a crewed spaceship called the CST-100 Starliner.

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Following the test flights, NASA will review performance data and resolve issues before giving either company the green light to continue to operational missions.

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