Saturday, 23 March, 2019

SpaceX Docked Its ‘Crew Dragon’ Capsule with the Space Station This Weekend

Crew Dragon Capsule Crew Dragon Capsule successfully docked to ISS
Doris Mccormick | 08 March, 2019, 10:53

The docking of the case, which has just a sham ready, was finished up at 1051 GMT, nearly 250 miles (400 kilometers) over the outside of the Earth, NASA, and SpaceX affirmed amid a live communicate of the mission.

It was Crew Dragon's first test flight and the first launch of NASA's commercial crew program - a public-private partnership in which the agency awarded SpaceX and Boeing Co. a combined $6.8 billion in contracts to build separate spacecraft that will take NASA astronauts to the space station.

"Crew Dragon" was launched on March 2nd and is an unmanned mission that will be transporting 400 pounds of "supplies and equipment to the Space Station".

Even last week, two days before launch, Russian Federation still had safety concerns with the docking procedure, deputy ISS program manager Joel Montalbano said in a pre-launch briefing last week. A while later, both astronauts as well as ISS commander Oleg Kononenko boarded the capsule and had a look around.

Following a almost 24-hour chase, the Crew Dragon spacecraft rendezvoused with the ISS.

"It should be fine, but that'll be a thing to make sure it works on re-entry, " Musk said " Everything we know so far is looking positive".

Boeing, which is working on the much-hyped Starliner crewed spacecraft, has yet to send it into space and perform any kind of preliminary uncrewed test flight to the space station.

We'll still have to wait a while for that though - even if NASA gives SpaceX the go-ahead, the next flight will take place later this summer.

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It will attempt to autonomously undock from the International Space Station on Friday, March 8 at approximately 2:30 a.m. A test dummy fitted with several instruments occupied one of the four seats. A sensor-laden mannequin named Ripley and floating Earth plush toy in the cockpit measured the noises and stresses. The version designed for humans is slightly bigger and safer.

"Welcome to the new era in spaceflight", he said.

"Our focus has been on serving Nasa's needs, but once Dragon is in regular operation, I think we will seek commercial customers of which NASA administrator, and NASA in general, has been very supportive".

The three U.S., Canadian and Russian crew members aboard the space station watched the rendezvous via TV cameras.

SpaceX aims to launch Behnken and Hurley as early as July.

At the post-launch press conference on Saturday, he reiterated his dream for a permanent Moon base - and sending people to Mars.

Despite SpaceX's success at recovering and reusing its rockets, NASA is insisting on brand new boosters from SpaceX for the crew capsule flights.

A new experiment planned for launch to the space station in August 2022 will, for the first time, gather global observations of an important driver of space weather in our upper atmosphere.

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