NASA and SpaceX are on Track to Saturday Unmanned Crew Dragon Test Flight

SpaceX and Tesla are no track for a Saturday, March 2nd unmanned crewed dragon test flight.

New Flight Planning Dates

SpaceX Demo-1 (uncrewed): March 2, 2019
Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): NET April 2019
Boeing Pad Abort Test: NET May 2019
SpaceX In-Flight Abort Test: June 2019
SpaceX Demo-2 (crewed): July 2019
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): NET August 2019

Crew Dragon Capabilities, Specs and Engines

The SpaceX Dragon 2 will be partly reusable. SpaceX expects ten flights are possible before significant vehicle refurbishing is needed.

It will have a payload capacity of 3,307 kilograms (7,291 lb) Cargo Dragon 2. It will be able to carry seven astronauts.

It will use four main parachutes for water landing when returning from space.

SpaceX could develop propulsive landing using the SuperDraco engines. However, propulsive landing capability has not been funded and there is no current plan to use rockets on the return.

The Dragon 2 has a SpaceX-developed SPAM backshell and an updated third-generation PICA-X heat shield.

SOURCES- NASA, Twitter, SpaceX, Wikipedia

Written By Brian Wang

8 thoughts on “NASA and SpaceX are on Track to Saturday Unmanned Crew Dragon Test Flight”

  1. They can only do one on any mission. Abort and parachute, or land propulsively there is no provision for refueling the Super Dracos outside of SpaceX’s maintenance areas. An abort will use 100% of the fuel to get clear of the RUD of the Falcon 9 (at any point in the ascent where the Falcon 9 booster is still attached), while a landing will have some margin of leftover fuel for just in case scenarios (an engine fail, etc). I am uncertain of abort scenarios involving the second stage. There might be some scenario where they could burn a small percentage to get away and the remainder to land…I don’t have that information.

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  2. I know all that but the question was how abort and propulsive landing can be combined. Even if they keep the heavy parachute system to reduce the amount of needed propellant, they will need more of it and they will have to do multiple restarts and deep throttling of the SuperDracos.

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  3. I think those “clouds of Jupiter” photos are not clouds! Those are mountains made of hydrogen solidified goo… you can walk on those “clouds” with boots provided the pressure and extreme cold don’t destroy you… how long has the so called eye of Jupiter been “raging” because it’s a freaking storm of moving mountains…

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  4. I guess that NASA is good at dumbing things down. We’d still be waiting for horseless carriages if they’d been setting specifications for suitable technology.

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  5. Crew Dragon (and all Dragon capsules) is equipped with parachutes as the primary landing method. The abort motors are (for now) just that, abort motors. There was a time when SpaceX wanted to land via the Super Dracos, but NASA isn’t comfortable with powered landings and it would cost SpaceX too much to certify on their own. Maybe, sometime in the future, if SpaceX saw some profitability in certifying the powered landing, they could do some testing to certify the process.

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  6. Wouldn’t there be a problem using the abort motors for landing?
    If they do an abort, the fuel will be spent. Or can they put more hypergolic fuel onboard and start them multiple times?

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