A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying four American and Japanese astronauts is on its way to the international Space Station after a successful Falcon 9 launch Nov. 15.
NASA formally certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft for transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station, clearing the way for a Nov. 14 launch.
NASA is delaying the launch of the first operational SpaceX commercial crew mission to the first half of November to provide more time to review a problem during a recent Falcon 9 launch attempt.
NASA and SpaceX are finalizing reviews of minor changes to the Crew Dragon spacecraft that they expect will be complete before the first operational mission launches to the International Space Station at the end of October.
NASA announced Aug. 14 that the first operational SpaceX commercial crew mission to the International Space Station will launch in late October, a delay to accommodate other spacecraft flying to the station.
The NASA astronauts who flew on the SpaceX Demo-2 commercial crew vehicle said they were pleasantly surprised at how well the Crew Dragon spacecraft performed.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico Aug. 2, successfully completing a test flight and crossing the finish line of the decade-long commercial crew program.
Members of a NASA safety panel expressed continued concern about quality issues with Boeing’s commercial crew spacecraft while cautiously supporting SpaceX’s plans to fly reused spacecraft on future crewed missions.
NASA confirmed July 17 that the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, with two astronauts on board, will return to Earth from the International Space Station in early August.
NASA is hoping to get as many as six spacewalks performed outside the International Space Station through late July to replace batteries in the station’s power system, taking advantage of the additional astronauts on the station during the Demo-2 commercial crew mission.
NASA will allow SpaceX to reuse Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon 9 first stages for launching them as soon as next year.