NASA’s maiden Commercial Crew Program target test flight scheduled for January 7

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Nov 23 2018
NASA’s maiden Commercial Crew Program target test flight scheduled for January 7
HIGHLIGHTS

The flight of the Crew Dragon capsule, called Demo-1, will be an uncrewed test mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

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The next generation of American spacecraft and rockets that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) are nearing the final stages of development and evaluation. The maiden flight of the Crew Dragon capsule, called Demo-1, an uncrewed test mission to the ISS, is scheduled to launch on Jan 7, NASA has announced on its official website. The programme will return human spaceflight launches to Earth, providing safe, reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will lift off atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which is a historic launch pad from where the rockets of Apollo moon missions have blasted off in the past. Originally, SpaceX is developing Crew Dragon to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS under a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA. As mentioned, this will be an uncrewed flight and the first crewed test flight of the capsule, known as Demo-2, is currently targeted for launch in June 2019.

According to NASA, an in-flight “abort test” that proves out Crew Dragon's emergency-escape systems will take place between the two demonstration missions. Boeing is also a part of the testing and its uncrewed flight test, known as Orbital Flight Test, will shoot in March 2019. The crewed mission will take place in August 2019. Similar to SapceX, Boeing’s in-flight “abort test” will take place between these two demonstration missions. SpaceX also completed a pad abort test in 2015. Following the test flights, NASA will review the performance data and resolve issues as necessary to certify the systems for operational missions.

Recently, NASA announced that they will be reviewing worker safety practices at SpaceX after the company’s founder Elon Musk was seen smoking weed on the Joe Rogan’s Podcast in September. NASA has said that the audit will be conducted for both of its civilian contractors, SpaceX and Boeing.

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