Debut Docking Has Been Conducted Successfully By Crew Dragon With The ISS

For the very first time, a docking and rendezvous to the International Space Station has been successfully conducted by the Crew Dragon of SpaceX, …

For the very first time, a docking and rendezvous to the International Space Station has been successfully conducted by the Crew Dragon of SpaceX, recently, after a successful launch. The docking took place on March 3 at 5:51 AM EST. Dragon was lofted to orbit by a Falcon 9 Block 5 missile from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Centre of NASA in Florida, which is more enormous and longer as compare to its Dragon 1 predecessor. Reportedly, 2 spacecrafts will arrive domestic crew launch capability to the US, one is the crew variant of Dragon 2 and the second is Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner.

A series of 4 test flights will be completed by SpaceX and NASA in order to check whether human can be carried by Crew Dragon or not. As per the sources, Demo-1 is the 2nd out of those 4 flights. To demonstrate nominal end to end performance of Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 is the main motto of Demo-1 after a positive pad abort trial occurred in the year 2015. This comprises signifying the on-orbit operations of communications, avionics, telemetry, electrical and propulsion systems, life support, navigation, guidance, control systems aboard both Dragon and Falcon 9.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX confirmed during a press conference that, the 1st two after-launch signs for Crew Dragon were effectively accomplished shortly separating from second stage of Falcon 9. To effort a self-sufficient docking in orbit, the first ever SpaceX vehicles was Dragon 2. Whereas, cargo resupply missions have been flying by Dragon 1 to the ISS since the year 2012, only manipulated close enough to be dealt by the robotic arm of the station. On the other hand, the robotic arm will not be used by Dragon 2, but the onboard Draco thrusters will rather be used to dock with the stations.

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Helping out on Crew Dragon

SpaceX is one of several private companies partnering with NASA to get America back in space, which has created the kind of teamwork Smith …

Not everyone grows up to be a rocket scientist, but that’s exactly what Kenneth Smith, 29, of Streetsboro has done.

For several years, he’s worked for NASA and Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, earning a spot on Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list in 2017.

Now, one of the projects that helped earn him a spot on that list has been celebrated as a milestone in space exploration, the March 2 launch of Crew Dragon, which connected autonomously with the International Space Station March 3 and successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, ending a successful mission.

The capsule, which was unmanned on its flight earlier this month, is designed to accommodate a crew of up to seven astronauts, according to Smith.

“The biggest thing is, it’s going to be the first American orbital space capsule since 2011,” he explained. “The United States hasn’t launched astronauts from American soil since 2011 when the space shuttle Atlantis closed out a 30-year program that folded under the weight of cost, political will and safety concerns.”

Since then, he said, the U.S. has been “hitching rides on a Russian system, Soyuz, operated in Kazakhstan in the middle of the desert, an expensive situation but necessary to keep the International Space Station staffed.”

SpaceX is one of several private companies partnering with NASA to get America back in space, which has created the kind of teamwork Smith believes will mark the future of the space program.

“Now the driving force is making space travel less expensive, and commercial companies are almost competing against each other,” he said, adding the private companies also have a greater tolerance for the kind of productive failure that helps spur development of spacecraft.

Since 2015, Smith said, he’s been working on the development of Crew Dragon, helping to test its flight-worthiness.

“I worked on the loads and dynamic analysis of the vehicle, looking at aerodynamic loads, aeroelastic effects, engine loads and how they would impact the performance and stability of the vehicle,” said Smith.

One of the tests Smith helped run were coupled load analyses, which measure the effect of various factors on the capsule when connected to the rockets, which perform predictably and serve as a control in the tests.

“You’re taking something that is known very well and coupling it with something that is not known,” in this case, the Crew Dragon capsule, said Smith.

In those analyses, the agency would try to replicate, as closely as possible, flight conditions in the capsule while measuring variables such as the weather.

“If you have an unstable mix of air or turbulence, there’s a threshold where we say it’s OK to launch and not OK to launch,” said Smith. Preparing for wind tests, Smith also said he had to design a scale model of the capsule so it could be properly tested.

“I had to take these complex structures and make them a smaller scale for the wind tunnel,” he said. “If I don’t do that model right, then our data could be off.”

Although he’s currently in Streetsboro, Smith said he’s planning to head to Russia in July.

“I will be there for a year working,” he said. “One of the requirements of being an astronaut is learning Russian. I got a fellowship that pays for the language training.”

The Alpha Fellowship includes about 13 people in mid-career from the U.S., Russia, Germany and England to travel and begin preparation to be astronauts.

Leaving in July, Smith said he’s planning to stay in Russia through about April 2020 when he hopes to move to Houston.

Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, bgaetjens@recordpub.com or @bobgaetjens_rpc.

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What’s Next For Commercial Spaceflight After The Crew Dragon Launch?

SpaceX has at least one more mission and a good chunk of data to analyze before its capsules are ready for NASA astronauts. SHOW TRANSCRIPT.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule has completed its historic first round-trip, from Earth to the International Space Station and back. This kind of vehicle could be used for crewed space missions as early as this summer, but there’s still a lot of work to do before humans can step aboard.

With this first launch, SpaceX proved the asymmetrical Crew Dragon could withstand extreme atmospheric reentry without falling apart or flipping upside down. NASA and SpaceX officials say despite experiencing intense heat and speeds faster than the speed of sound during its descent, the capsule performed as expected and made it down in one piece.

To learn as much as it could about how that descent will affect humans on-board, SpaceX rigged the test flight with measurement devices, including a sensor-filled test dummy named Ripley. Researchers said they didn’t expect to find hiccups with the ship’s life support systems.

Related StorySpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Successfully Returns To EarthSpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Successfully Returns To Earth

NASA and SpaceX will also need to refurbish Crew Dragon for its next test mission. While most capsules spend about two years getting restored to flight-ready standards, SpaceX crews will attempt to turn Crew Dragon around in only a month. It helps that the spacecraft does not need to be ready for a full orbital flight. Instead, during the flight planned for April, researchers will test Crew Dragon’s abort rockets in-flight. They’re designed to pull the capsule away from a rocket experiencing a major malfunction.

And all the while, the commercial spaceflight field will get more crowded. Boeing is also expected to test-launch its CST-100 Starliner capsule in April, and both companies have ambitious schedules for carrying astronauts. If all goes well for SpaceX, its first crewed mission could come as early as July 2019. Boeing’s is currently scheduled for August.

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‘Earthie’ Plushie Toy Sold Out After Making Waves Onboard The ISS

The successful and historic first flight test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon carried an adorable cargo to the International Space Station on March 2. Earthie …
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Little Earthie meets Mother Earth in a photo taken by NASA astronaut Anne McClain. SpaceX’s “super high tech zero-g indicator” plushie has sold out, according to its maker Celestial Buddies. The company promised that the famous toy will go back in stock in April. ( Anne McClain | Twitter )

The successful and historic first flight test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon carried an adorable cargo to the International Space Station on March 2.

Earthie, a blue and green plushie that has arms and legs, joined the dummy pilot, Ripley, in a journey toward low-orbit, and spent the past week observing astronauts do their workinside the orbiting outpost.

Unfortunately, for anyone who wants to take home the stuffed toy, its maker Celestial Buddies announced that Earthie had completely sold out.

Famous Toy

In a post on its website, the company revealed that it had no idea that the toy will be flying alongside Ripley, who is named after Sigourney Weaver’s character in Alien, during the flight test. Little Earthie was a last minute addition to the mission to serve as a “super high tech zero-g indicator.”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a video of the toy that can be seen floating gently inside the capsule in zero gravity on Twitter.

Earth floats gently in zero gravity pic.twitter.com/XUH3KeDPVe — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 2, 2019


Celestial Buddies shared that it has received overwhelming interest over the plushie. By the time Crew Dragon lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, its entire inventory had been completely wiped by the number of orders they receive from those who want to take home a memento of the historic event.

Even the astronauts aboard the ISS are completely enamored by the little Earth with its beady eyes and perennially open mouth.

.@AstroAnnimal welcomes humans aboard the first @SpaceX#CrewDragon to visit the station and introduces two special guests, Ripley and Little Earth, ushering in the era of @Commercial_Crew. #LaunchAmericapic.twitter.com/QqzEEgDWzt — Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) March 3, 2019

Earth Plushies To Go Back On Sale In April

Celestial Buddies promised that it will have more Earth plushies on hand, but those who want one will have to wait until next month.

“We apologize for our current lack of Earths… we have never had a product on backorder before… but we have never had one of our products launched into space before, and we were taken totally by surprise,” the company said.

Celestial Buddies also has other plushies that are equally adorable like the “Our Precious Planet,” which is a larger and more detailed version of Earthie. Perhaps one should get the Mars plushie in anticipation for SpaceX’s journey to the red planet in the future.

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Recovered SpaceX Crew Dragon makes way to Port Canaveral

What goes up, must come down, and for SpaceX, if it comes down in the Atlantic Ocean, it often makes its way to Port Canaveral. The historic SpaceX …

What goes up, must come down, and for SpaceX, if it comes down in the Atlantic Ocean, it often makes its way to Port Canaveral.

The historic SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that flew on last week’s unmanned Demo-1 mission to the International Space Station arrived to the port late Saturday after its successful splashdown off the Florida coast on Friday.

Port Canaveral posted video of the capsule’s return aboard the recovery vessel “Go Searcher” to its Facebook page with onlookers watching from Jetty Park.

The mission that launched from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39-A on March 2 sent the Crew Dragon to the ISS with a mannequin named Ripley where it spent five days attached to the space station before making its return to Earth.

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