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SpaceX Dragon Crew Demo-1 Flight to Space Station: What to Expect



SpaceX is gearing for a huge human-spaceflight milestone.

Elon Musk's company aims to fly on its first Crew Dragon capsule demonstration mission at the International Space Station (ISS) on March 2.

This flight, known as Demo-1, will be uncrewed. But if everyone goes, the Crew Dragon will likely bring astronauts to and from the orbiting lab for the first time this summer. [19456525]

Here's what you need to know about Crew Dragon, Demo-1 and the short-term future of human spaceflight.

  The first spacecraft of the Crew Dragon SpaceX is seen over the Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida in February 2019.

The first spacecraft of Crew Dragon SpaceX is found in over the Falcon 9 rocket on Launch Pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center at NASA in Cape Canaveral, Florida in February 2019.

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX is developing the Crew Dragon under the contract of a commercial crew many billions of dollars in NASA. The agency signed a similar deal with Boeing, working on a capsule called CST-100 Starliner.

The goal is to restore the orbital human spaceflight to the U.S. soil. American astronauts rely on rocket and spacecraft of Russian Soyuz to arrive in and from the ISS since July 2011, when NASA retires in its space aircraft.

Much money flows from NASA to his Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, as a result; Seats in the three-person Soyuz spacecraft are currently selling for $ 80 million each.

The Crew Dragon will be launched over the WorkXor Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX, a two-stage vehicle featuring a first reusable stage. Starliner, scheduled to take his uncrewed flight of virginity at the ISS at the end of April, is seen by United Launch Alliance Atlas V rockets, which is no longer available.

Crew Dragon is a revised, upgraded version of SpaceX's robotic dragon cargo capsule, flying non-assignable resupply missions to ISS under other NASA contracts in 2012.

The Crew Dragon has many features associated with its astronauts lack of robotic cousins ​​- for example, seats (seven of them), windows, fancy touch-screen displays, a life support system and an escape system. The escape system, designed to get the Crew Dragon out of the way of injury in case of emergency launch, consists of eight SpaceX SuperDraco engines built on the body of the capsule.

There are other important differences between the two vehicles. For example, the Dragon has traditional deployable solar arrays, but the Crew Dragon solar panels cover the trunk of the spacecraft and require no action to be activated.

Both dragon variants are designed to be reused, and SpaceX reflown some of the freight shipment to the ISS mission. But each individual Crew Dragon can not fly many ISS missions for NASA, at least not at first, said SpaceX representatives

((VideoProviderTag | jwplaDemo-1 will be launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at SpaceX is scheduled for March 2 for liftoff, although that date is far from the rock set.

] The mission is designed to test most of the Crew Dragon's critical equipment, from automated strategy and docking gear to its life support and re-entry systems. SpaceX personnel will monitor these systems when careful performance over the duration of nearly 2-week missions, ending with a splashdown on a parachute-assisted Pacific Ocean. [19659002] But a successful return to Earth does not reveal the Crew Dragon's willingness to bring crew SpaceX will also perform a "in-flight abort" uncrewed test on the capsule in June, to ensure that the escape system is working properly.

If you really are going to both of flights, Demo-2 is clean for liftoff. That mission, which may be launched in July, will take NASA astronaut Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley on the ISS within a week's stay.

Operation crew missions in the NASA lab alone will follow the successful completion of the Demo-2

Introduction to Starship?

If the SpaceX viewer holds, the Crew Dragon will not fly for a long time – nor can Dragon or Falcon 9 load and Falcon Heavy Rockets.

SpaceX builds a new do-it-all spaceflight system, consisting of a 100-passenger spaceship called Starship and a giant rocket called Super Heavy. The reusable duo will take people to and from Mars, the moon and other far-reaching destinations, Musk said, and do any other SpaceX needs in, from launching satellites to clean the garbage.

Starship and Super Heavy will also do some jobs closer to the Earth's surface, ferrying people to superfast point-to-point trips around the world.

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