SpaceX vows manned flight to space station is on track

17 Août, 2018, 10:52 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken Doug Hurley Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover and Director of Crew Mission Management Benji Reed

But on Monday there was something else on the factory floor: the quartet of NASA astronauts SpaceX plans to fly as soon as next year, who were greeted by a thundering applause by throngs of SpaceX employees, many decked out in matching SpaceX T-shirts.

There will be flight tests over flight tests, until NASA certifies that the capsule is fit for routine flights to and from the International Space Station.

Elon Musk's SpaceX opened the doors to the media on Monday to show off the Dragon Capsule simulator, and the spacesuits. In the background is the first SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket first stage ever to successfully land during an orbital mission. The flights to the ISS will be the first leaving USA soil to put people into orbit since the iconic space shuttle program ended in 2011. The spaceship can accommodate seven passengers, though a maximum of four will fly on the contracted NASA missions.

Dragon riders' spacesuits won't impinge much on the capsule's spaciousness, either; the white-and-gray SpaceX suit is far from bulky, as you can see.

There was also a tour of the Dragon simulator, which the four astronauts train in on a weekly basis.

Four scientists will fly with the Crew Dragon.

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A SuperDraco engine chamber, which SpaceX makes using 3D printers.

"This initiates the launch escape system, which rapidly pulls the spacecraft away from the rocket in the case of an emergency during the ascent into space".

"I'm really excited to bring my family and my friends to a launch again", said NASA astronaut Bob Behnken. Inside, next to its mission control centre, is a charred spacecraft hanging from the rafters, the first commercial capsule to reach orbit and return.

A stripped down version of the Crew Dragon was also put on display in SpaceX's so-called clean room. The bones of this vehicle are very much in place, as you can see, though a fair amount of finishing work still lies ahead.

"Being able to fly a first flight of a vehicle as a test pilot is a once-in-a-generational type of opportunity", said astronaut Doug Hurley, who will be on the first crew of the SpaceX Dragon.

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover, and Director of Crew Mission Management Benji Reed talk after addressing reporters in front of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, under construction in a clean room, during a media tour of SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory on August 13, 2018 in Hawthorne, California.

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