As NASA and SpaceX complete final preparations for the first crewed flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, the agency is already looking ahead to the spacecraft’s next mission.
On the eve of the first crewed orbital flight from the United States in nearly nine years, both the current NASA administrator and his predecessor agreed that credit for the ultimate success of the commercial crew program should be shared.
To get a new, state-of-the-art crewed spacecraft ready to carry astronauts, SpaceX and NASA had to overcome problems with a technology long thought to be understood.
NASA has given SpaceX approval to proceed with final preparations for the first commercial crew mission with astronauts on board, although there is still work to complete ahead of the planned May 27 launch.
Preparations for the launch of a SpaceX commercial crew test flight with two NASA astronauts on board are continuing despite the unexpected departure of the head of the agency’s overall human spaceflight program.
The unit known as Detachment 3 is responsible to rescue astronauts if they have to abort the mission.
NASA and SpaceX are in the final phases of preparations for a commercial crew test flight that will carry two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station for an extended stay.
A NASA safety panel believes the agency’s plan to launch a SpaceX commercial crew test flight in late May is feasible, although some issues still need to be resolved before the launch.
NASA announced April 17 that it has set a May 27 launch date for a SpaceX commercial crew test flight that will be the first mission to launch NASA astronauts to orbit from the United States in nearly a decade.
Boeing announced April 6 that it has decided to fly a second uncrewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle later this year to confirm it has corrected problems encountered in a test flight last December.
NASA has completed the crew for the first operational SpaceX commercial crew mission to the International Space Station, one that will not include any Russian cosmonauts after Roscosmos officials said they would not fly on what they consider an unproven vehicle.
SpaceX said March 24 that one of the final parachute tests for its Crew Dragon spacecraft went awry, a problem it blamed on the test setup and not a flaw with the parachutes themselves.
NASA representatives will be part of an ongoing SpaceX investigation into an engine anomaly on a recent Falcon 9 launch as the company prepares for a Crew Dragon mission carrying two NASA astronauts.