Together, SpaceX and the US space agency NASA will be launching its human test flight later next month. Two American astronauts were selected to board the Crew Dragon to the International Space Station.
The space collaboration project is the first that will bring humans to the ISS and back to the US since 2011, the retirement year of the space shuttle.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been working with NASA for this second demonstration flight that is nearing its launch by May 27 of this year. This mission is intended for the revival of human space flights. However, this time around, a more advanced system is put in place for the safety of the crew.
Two astronauts ready to go
Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley will be the two American astronauts who will be with this Crew Dragon flight. Bob Behnken has been an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency since the Year 2000.
His experience includes two space flights. At present, he is completing his training for the second demonstration flight. At the same time, he is helping in developing new spacecraft systems for the space vehicle.
Together with Behnken, Doug Hurley was also selected as an astronaut in 2000. Another veteran in space flying, Hurley is also finishing his training for the Demo 2 flight mission of the Crew Dragon.
Preparation for the Crew Dragon flight
To get ready for the May 2020 demonstration human journey into the ISS, SpaceX has conducted several activities. It started the testing of the spacecraft’s capability for the in-flight launch system last January 2020. The series of tests totalled 700 for the SuperDraco engines alone.
Another 26 testings were done for the enhanced design of the spacecraft’s Mark 3 parachute. These tests composed of both single and multi-parachute drop tests. These were conducted to ensure the safe landing of the crew once they landed back to Earth from the ISS.
Human spaceflight is returning to America! ????????????
— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) April 17, 2020
Moreover, the joint NASA and SpaceX project also takes into account simulation exercises that already engaged the participation of Behnken and Hurley. They have trained for both the launch and docking operations of the Crew Dragon.
Before this, the company had completed the crew-less test flight in March 2019. This test flight stands as the first for both NASA and SpaceX to successfully dock a US spacecraft to the ISS and come back to earth without the crew.
Where will the launch happen?
The Crew Dragon spacecraft is set to be launched on top of the Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Currently, the spacecraft is undergoing its finishing preparations to its return to space with the US astronauts Behnken and Hurley.
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