May 21, 2019

SpaceX launches latest test flight with a life-sized crash dummy named Ripley

03 March 2019, 02:55 | Edward Lowe

SpaceX's Dragon capsule lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Centre carrying a test dummy wired with sensors nicknamed Ripley, named after the lead character in the Alien movies. Then comes the real test.

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.

The successful launch puts SpaceX one step closer to an historic landmark: Crew Dragon could be the first commercially built spacecraft to carry NASA astronauts to orbit.

"This is a critically important event in American history", the head of the United States space agency, Jim Bridenstine, told reporters on Friday, with the rocket and capsule visible behind him on the legendary launch pad where the Apollo missions to the Moon began.

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However, we have to make sure that the integrity of the game and welfare of the players are protected'. A lack of real opportunities for tier-two nations to progress.

NASA's associate administrator for human exploration Bill Gerstenmaier said using a private company for astronaut launches would not compromise on standards.

The United States halted its manned spacecraft program in 2011 and since then USA astronauts have relied on Russian spacecraft to get back and forth to the Space Station.

Boeing is also in the race to end NASA's eight-year drought of launching USA astronauts on US rockets from US soil. "We've got to dock to the space station and come back".

But the program has suffered delays as safety requirements are much more stringent for manned flights than for unmanned missions to deploy satellites. It will not be tested until April, in a mission similar to SpaceX's. Both companies are focused on test missions, including abort system demonstrations and crew flight tests, ahead of regularly flying crew missions to the space station.

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NASA did not want to rely on just one single vehicle, in case of accidents. SpaceX has been developing Crew Dragon under a $2.6 billion commercial-crew contract with NASA, after all. Across the country at SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, company employees went wild, cheering every step of the way until the capsule successfully reached orbit. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going.

Now NASA said it is on the verge of recapturing some of the national pride that has been a hallmark of its human spaceflight program since the beginning of the Space Age. "Human spaceflight is a core value of business of SpaceX".

The capsule is now in orbit, while the Falcon 9 safely landed on one of the drone ships in the Atlantic.

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