Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Science | By

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule perched on pad ahead of first orbital flight

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule perched on pad ahead of first orbital flight

All eyes will be on both companies in 2019 as they inch their way towards their goals, and SpaceX just teased that they're nearly ready to hit a big milestone.

The partial government shutdown is likely affecting the US return to launching astronauts.

Even though Musk stated that the first test launch of the Commercial crew mission would be delayed, over the weekend, he also Tweeted that the demo flight will not be without any dangers.

Neither SpaceX nor NASA has announced a schedule change as of this writing. Ars Technica reports that several government officials are working without pay in to make sure the launch from Florida's Complex 39A goes off without a hitch.

If the uncrewed tests are successful, SpaceX will carry on with the next test flight.

For NASA the launch would further confirm the success of its long-standing partnership with Musk, who spent much of 2018 facing one controversy after another. NASA will be able to send astronauts to the International Space Station.

"Risk is inherent to this business and it would be foolish not to acknowledge it".

American manned spacecraft Dragon-2 will be launched to ISS unmanned in February. Being the first of anything is never easy, and a launch of this complexity is especially hard.

Musk added that when Crew Dragon does take flight, it "will be extremely intense. Early flights are especially unsafe, as there's a lot of new hardware". According to their demands to the providers, NASA has asked for a spaceflight system what will have a probability of "loss of mission" should be 1 in 230 or less.

Following the test flights, NASA will review performance data and resolve issues before giving either company the green light to continue to operational missions.

But hype or no, first launches are risky. It is planned for this June, when two NASA astronauts - Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will be on board.

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