SpaceX Preparing for Crew-1 Mission With Astronaut Training Underway Written 13 May 2020


SpaceX completes a critical crew flight hardware test ahead of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration mission to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley take part in the test. | Credit: SpaceX; NASA

SPACE reports that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket “is scheduled to launch the company’s Crew Dragon capsule on May 27 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS).” However, Demo-2 “is far from a climax; as its name suggests, it’s a demonstration mission, a test designed to show that the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are ready to begin operational astronaut-toting flights.” SpaceX “is committed to fly six operational crewed missions, under a $2.6 billion deal the company signed with NASA in 2014. And the wheels are already turning on the first of them, known as Crew-1, which will send NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi to the ISS for a six-month stay.” Crew-1 “astronaut training is already ‘well underway,’ SpaceX representatives said via Twitter on May 1.” SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said, “We should be shipping that vehicle [to Florida] in the next few months and prepping for the first operational mission.” SpaceX “plans to get Crew-1 off the ground sometime this year, but a specific timeline has not yet been announced.” Crew-1 will not lift off the ground until the Demo-2 mission concludes, and it is unclear how long that mission will last – the minimum mission time “is about a month and the maximum is around 119 days.”
Full Story (SPACE)