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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SpaceX Moon Mission Launch Could Happen Sooner Than We Think

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s moon mission could be launched sooner than people think. The Starship rocket is already being geared with the powerful …

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s moon mission could be launched sooner than people think. The Starship rocket is already being geared with the powerful Raptor engine needed for the lunar journey. If all goes to plan, SpaceX could be sending the first “tourists” to the moon as early as 2023.

A photo shared on a NASASpaceFlight.com discussion forum showed a structure believed to be the next-gen Raptor engine being built inside SpaceX’s Boca Chica Village launch site. The photo was shared by Mary of Texas who goes by the name bocachicagal in the forum.

The Texas launch site is currently home to the stainless steel Starship prototype so the presence of the Raptor could mean that the space agency might be in the advanced stages of completing SpaceX’s rocket to the moon. The sighting of the Raptor coincides with Musk teasing the arrival of the engine and that it will be put into place this week.

“Raptor on way to Hopper. Will be mounted to vehicle next week,” the SpaceX CEO said in a tweet on March 9.

According to a report, once the engine is attached to the rocket, which will be used for takeoff and landing, tests such as ground systems testing, static fire tests, propellant loading and low-altitude hover demonstrations will be performed. The rocket will be tethered during these tests which won’t be announced to the public.

Musk has big plans for the Raptor engine as it will play a big role in the Starship rocket meant to take the first “moon tourists” to space. It will also be significant to the company’s longterm goal of starting a lunar base and maybe a colony on the planet Mars. The stainless steal Starship will launch via the Super Heavy Rocket that is still being developed.

Super Heavy will require around 31 Raptor engines to operate while the Starship can carry about seven. During the testing stage, only a few Raptor engines will be used just in case it “blows up.”

Musk has been working very hard to start his company’s space exploration. It was only last year that he announced that SpaceX is aiming to bring private individuals to space via a two-way flight to the moon using the Starship rocket.

Recently, SpaceX successfully launched and returned the Crew Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS). The space capsule, which went into orbit via the Falcon 9 rocket, is expected to bring NASA astronauts to the ISS in the near future.


SpaceX Falcon 9SpaceX is preparing to test the Raptor engine onboard the Starship rocket. Pictured: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen seconds after taking off during the Demo-1 mission, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 2, 2019.Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

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Get ready, rocket fans: Another SpaceX launch is coming to Vandenberg

SpaceX has some good news for West Coast space junkies: The commercial space company is expected to launch its Falcon 9 rocket once again …

SpaceX has some good news for West Coast space junkies: The commercial space company is expected to launch its Falcon 9 rocket once again from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc in May.

According to Space Archive, a website that tracks West Coast rocket launches, the launch window for the rocket is May 16-22, though that is subject to change based on anticipated weather conditions.

A Vandenberg Air Force Base public relations representative said he could not confirm any information on a potential rocket launch from the base at this time. But the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) lists the new launch window on its website.

According to the CSA, the rocket is expected to carry three radar-based, earth-imaging satellites into orbit for the country’s RadarSat Constellation program. The satellites will be used for maritime surveillance, disaster management and ecosystem monitoring, according to the website.

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The mission was originally slated for sometime in February, and then again in March, but has since been delayed, according to the Space Archive.

Our coastline is the longest in the world, which is why we need to help monitor and protect it. Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation, scheduled to launch in May, will help monitor coastal erosion and assess impacts of climate change on our coastline. https://t.co/V4YvM2R1Ic

— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) March 8, 2019

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was the first orbital class rocket capable of reflight, which means it can be reused for multiple missions, according to the SpaceX website. The rocket took the Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit on March 2 as part of the commercial company’s bid to eventually send manned missions into space.

If it proceeds as planned, the May launch would be the third launch from the Central Coast base in 2019.

On Jan. 11, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg. The rocket carried 10 Iridium commercial satellites into orbit — the eighth and final set in a series of 75 SpaceX launched as part of its Iridium-8 mission.

Days later, on Jan. 19, the United Launch Alliance sent its Delta IV rocket rocket into space, carrying a top-secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. That dramatic launch was watched by hundreds of people lining the streets in nearby Lompoc.

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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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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Completes Historic Test Mission To The International Space Station

However, thanks to SpaceX’s successful test mission, astronauts may soon have an alternate, more affordable, mode of transportation to the ISS.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Demo-1 mission launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida on March 2, 2019 (Credit: SpaceX)

Ever since the US shuttle program ended in 2011, astronauts – both American and those from other nations – have been dependent on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to go to and from the International Space Station (ISS). The reliance, which costs NASA $70 million for each trip, is expensive and also leaves astronauts in danger of being stranded in the event of a spacecraft malfunction, like the one experienced in October 2018. Now, thanks to SpaceX’s successful Crew Dragon test mission, astronauts may soon have an alternate, more affordable, mode of transportation to the ISS.

Falcon 9 returns to Earth after launching the Crew Dragon (Credit: SpaceX)

The epic Demo-1 mission began on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 2:49 a.m. EST, when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fired off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with a Crew Dragon spacecraft in tow. Ten minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9’s reusable first stage rocket made a picture-perfect landing on the company’s drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You, waiting out in the Atlantic Ocean.

Shortly after, the Crew Dragon capsule detached from Falcon 9’s second stage rocket and made its way to its final destination, the ISS. At 5:51 a.m. EST on March 3, 2019, about 27 hours after launching into space, the capsule successfully docked at the manned space science laboratory. In addition to bringing 400 lbs of supplies, the Crew Dragon also carried its first “astronaut” – a mannequin named Ripley. The spacesuit-clad figure was fitted with a suite of sensors around its head, neck, and spine to monitor how a human would fare on the flight.

Crew Dragon gets to ISS (Credit NASA)

After its scheduled five-day stay, in the early hours of March 8, 2019, the Crew Dragon autonomously undocked from the ISS and, with its sole passenger still on board, made its way back to Earth. Upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft deployed four parachutes to help slow down its rapid descent. The Crew Dragon then splashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s coast, where it was instantly scooped up by an awaiting recovery vessel.

“Everything happened just perfectly, right on time the way that we expected it to,” Benjamin Reed, SpaceX director of crew mission management, said in a live stream from California.

Crew Dragon Demo-1 capsule deploys parachutes to slow down its speed (Credit: NASA)

The same spacecraft will be used for a second flight as early as April 2019. Then, the mission will test the inflight-abort system, which is designed to save the crew in case its rocket experiences a glitch. The system comprises eight SuperDraco thrusters that can in the event of a disaster, ignite during the ascent and fly a Crew Dragon capsule far away from its failing Falcon 9.

If all goes well, in July 2019, the Crew Dragon will transport its first two human passengers – NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley – to the ISS for about a week-long stay. Contracted missions for NASA, each of which will carry four astronauts, will follow sometime after that.

The reusable Crew Dragon capsule gets rescued from the Atlantic Ocean (Credit: NASA)

Though Space X is the first to complete a test mission, it is not the only private company contracted by NASA to build the astronaut “taxis” of the future. Boeing plans to test an uncrewed mission on its Starliner spacecraft, which can carry up to seven astronauts at a time, in early April, 2019. If all goes according to schedule, the company hopes to transport astronauts to the ISS by August 2019.

In addition to eliminating dependency on the Soyuz and reducing costs, the SpaceX and Boeing spacecrafts will be able to transport a total of up to eleven astronauts, a substantial increase from the current three. This will allowNASA to send bigger teams of scientists and expand station use, allowing for additional research time and broader discovery opportunities aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Resources: Space.com. Smithsonianmag.com, NASA.gov, Newsatlas.com

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