SpaceX Test Success Allows US To Resume Flights to ISS

Katie Ramirez
January 23, 2020

The Crew Dragon is created to bring astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA. "However, SpaceX has configured Crew Dragon to intentionally trigger a launch escape after Max Q, the moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket".

The capsule was uncrewed during the test.

Now that SpaceX has completed Crew Dragon's in-flight launch escape test, when can you expect a mission with humans aboard?

The test came on an overcast Sunday in Florida that threatened to cancel the already once-delayed launch test entirely. In previous announcements, SpaceX said it hopes to begin regional broadband service in portions of North America during the middle of the year once 12 Starlink launches have occured.

With names like SpaceX, Boeing, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, and NASA all cropping up in human spaceflight headlines, it's hard to keep track of who is doing what.

This entire sequence was a carefully planned demonstration of exactly how the Crew Dragon would safeguard the lives of the astronauts on board, in the event of an unplanned failure of a Falcon 9 rocket during some future launch. That rocket used to be anticipated to ship 60 Starlink net satellites into role no sooner than Tuesday (Jan. 21), marking a ability 24-hour turnaround time between testing and launch.

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It is also expected to come with a bigger battery and Huawei's proprietary fast charging solution. This can be further expanded via the MicroSD card slot, although the device has a hybrid slot.

From a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday, Elon Musk's SpaceX launched its latest rocket test into the Florida sky.

Since 2011, the United States has had to rely on Russia's Soyuz rockets, the only ones capable of carrying astronauts to the space station once the U.S. retired its space shuttle fleet.

"The past few days have been an incredible experience for us", Astronaut Doug Hurley, who will be one of the first to fly in Crew Dragon, said in a NASA statement. The company officially started the project with the launch of two test satellites on February 22, 2019.

NASA hired the two companies to build crew capsules for astronaut missions.

Crew Dragon detached from the Falcon 9 rocket at "more than double the speed of sound", Musk told reporters, at 131,000 feet (40km) above the Atlantic Ocean - roughly twice the altitude of a commercial jetliner. Now, SpaceX is homing in on the goal, though it, too, has faced technical errors and setbacks. Both SpaceX and Boeing have run into "chronic delays" with their vehicles, as the Government Accountability Office put it in its report in June 2019.

The joint team will review test data required before astronauts can use the system for the Demo-2 mission.

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