The shutdown of the US shuttle program in 2011 has made the astronauts from America and from other nations to be dependent on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to travel from Earth to the International Space Station and vice-versa. The dependence on such flights has cost NASA $70 million for a single trip, which is very expensive and could potentially leave the astronauts lives in danger during spacecraft malfunction, recently observed in October 2018. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has successfully completed its Crew Dragon test mission. So now astronauts could soon have an alternative and even more affordable transport to the ISS.
The SpaceX’s epic Demo-1 mission has commenced on March 2, 2019, and for that, the company has used its Falcon 9 rocket to lift the uncrewed Dragon from the Kennedy Space Center. After the liftoff, the reusable first stage of the Falcon 9 has made a beautiful landing on the SpaceX’s drone ship. Within a short span of time, the capsule of the Crew Dragon detached from the second stage of the Falcon 9 and hence headed its way to the ISS. On March 3, 2019, the capsule successfully docked at the ISS. The Crew Dragon was loaded with 400 lbs. of supplies and along with that it also carried a mannequin which is named Ripley to the ISS. The mannequin was incorporated with sensors to monitor the exact situation.
On March 8, 2019, the Crew Dragon gets freely undocked from the ISS and then it made its way to our planet with the mannequin on board. According to Benjamin Reed, SpaceX director of crew mission management, everything went perfect as expected. The same SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will be used for a second flight slated for its launch in the early April. The April mission will be headed to test the inflight-abort system. The system has eight SuperDraco thrusters which can start its work during the conditions of disaster and could fly spacecraft capsule away from the failing Falcon 9.If the spacecraft passes the test then in July 2019, the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will carry its first crew mission to the ISS.
Erik has a scientific background. He is with the team from last 7 years. He has been the go-to-guy whenever Report Truths decides to cover science-related discoveries, space explorations, research and many more. Besides being science aficionado, Erik is an internet specialist, incurable organizer and a coffee specialist.
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: +61 2 8434 2150