Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Dragon Ready for Return Ahead of Commercial Crew Announcement

Month NASA Will Be Declaring Crew Members For SpaceX And Boeing NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews
Glenn Montgomery | 03 August, 2018, 16:24

If something goes wrong at any point during a Crew Dragon flight, these engines can fire up and carry the spacecraft and its passengers to safety.

SpaceXNASA astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams tests mock-ups of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship and spacesuit. As part of the Commercial Crew Program's public-private partnership, both companies are fine-tuning their designs, integrating hardware, and testing their crew spacecraft and rockets to prepare for test flights.

An artist's conception shows SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship docking with the International Space Station, plus a cargo-carrying version of the Dragon in the foreground.

In March, astronaut Eric Boe visited Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX has a target date of November 2018 for its uncrewed flight and April 2019 for its crewed test. Boeing's schedule is considerably vaguer: uncrewed test, "late 2018/early 2019"; crewed test, "mid-2019".

"I'm incredibly proud of the progress our team has made, and it has been inspiring to watch them work through challenges quickly, while developing a brand new human-rated spacecraft that Boeing, NASA and the nation can be proud of", Mulholland added.

"Safely and reliably flying commercial crew missions for NASA remains the highest priority for SpaceX", said Benji Reed, Director of Crew Mission Management at SpaceX. More experience in space.

The crewed mission will be called Demo-2 for SpaceX and Crew Flight Test for Boeing.

Numerous team members leading the unique public-private partnership believe the agency is on the cusp of something life changing with its Commercial Crew Program.

Also, the most recent planet-hunting probe of NASA-the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite)-has begun its hunt for new worlds around close by stars, as said by the US Space organization. "The systems will be operated in the actual environment to test it and ensure it's ready for crew".

In July, the dual engine Centaur for the ULA Atlas V rocket that will launch Starliner in the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test was completed.

Boeing had planned to start with the pad abort test, which would make use of a "pusher" rocket system created to throw the capsule clear of its launch vehicle in the event of an emergency. The idea is that other customers will emerge and the company will have a profitable business that does not rely exclusively on government contracts. The first flights were scheduled for 2018.

If those flights are successful, the companies will be certified by NASA for crew rotation missions.

During the manned tests, the astronauts will be able to use the displays inside the spacecraft, communicate with mission control and practise manual controls during flight.

The Expedition 56 crew has finished loading Dragon with sensitive research results and station gear for analysis and refurbishment back on Earth. "We want to do some climate science, but we aren't going to do some of the insane stuff that the previous administration did", Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said in May 2017 while discussing Trump's first budget proposal. The new flight schedule features delays on three major flight tests - the launch abort test, the first unmanned test flight, and the first crewed launch.

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