A new era dawns upon space exploration following the iconic launch of the first SpaceX’s crewed spaceflight to Mars.
NASA and SpaceX plan to complete preparations for their introductory crewed flight, the Crew Dragon spacecraft. With this in mind, NASA aims to commence another project for the next spacecraft mission.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft’s Demo-2 mission will be launched on May 27. Technicians spent May 26 to finish the project’s workload ahead of schedule. They inspected the Falcon 9 rocket’s water radiator system used to keep the spacecraft cool. The rocket’s assessment exercise took place at NASA’s Launch Complex 39A.
A report from the meteorological department showed a rise in the possibility of favorable take-off weather, from 40% to 60%. The meteorologists released the news based on a forecast issued on May 26.
NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine expressed his confidence in the agency’s plan to ensure a safe lift-off. Onboard the Crew Dragon are astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
Norm Knight, the deputy director for flight operations at the Johnson Space Center, gave a statement regarding the astronauts’ final activities before the flight. NASA plans to let the astronauts go through medical checks, have breakfast, and later on get final briefings on the space mission.
NASA scheduled to carry the astronauts to spacecraft, in Tesla Model X electric cars.
SpaceX aims to use Demo-2 as a test flight to determine the capabilities of the spacecraft and is only intended to be in space for a few weeks. However, NASA plans to make a decision to prolong the mission to allow Behnken and Hurley to help Chris Cassidy. Cassidy currently stands to be the only NASA astronaut on the International Space Station.
Bridenstine explained that Demo-2 is a test flight and that the top priority is to experiment with the vehicle and get it home safely and prepared to launch Crew-1.
SpaceX plans to induct Crew-1 to be the first functional Crew Dragon mission. This project aims to send four astronauts to the International Space Station, three from NASA and one Japanese.
In a recent briefing, Bridenstine unveiled that NASA plans to launch Crew-1 on August 30. The agency chose the date to conveniently allow for preparations for the Crew Dragon spacecraft for that mission. The Crew Dragon Demo-2 is expected to return before the launch date of Crew Dragon Crew-1. NASA plans to inspect and certify the spacecraft for operational purposes before the inauguration of Crew-1.