SpaceX has been carrying many deliveries to the ISS, and now it’s working its way up again, but with the intention of carrying a human crew to space. Accomplishing this, will make it the first private company to have done it. The spacecraft has been preparing for a few years, passing NASA tests one after the other. The first uncrewed launch will be in November 2019, and if everything goes well, the first crewed test that was scheduled for April 2019 might happen as early as January.
On his Twitter account, Elon Musk said that the hardware for the uncrewed and crewed test missions would “def be ready” for the launch dates.
Demonstration Mission 1 and 2
Recently, the company tested the parachute system, a difficult re-entry test that would make sure astronauts get safely back to Earth as they pass through the atmosphere on their way back home.
DM-1, which stands for Demonstration Mission 1 will start in November, and it will include the booster B1051 – the primary launch vehicle and the trunk segment that will power the capsule with solar arrays to regulate the temperature inside. If DM1 is successful, then DM2 – which will be the first crewed test mission, should happen by April 2019. The crew on the DM2 will include only two astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
The SpaceX schedule might be changed if everything goes according to plan and the first crewed mission could be ready to launch in January.
SpaceX Vs. Boeing
Meanwhile, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is lagging behind after having that propellant leak while they tested the capsule this summer. The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) examined the information on the incident, highlighting that Boeing must figure out how to solve this issue. The panel then praised SpaceX’s system to track changes to spacecraft, a member even commenting that it “would have been great to have for the Space Shuttle program.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.