NASA is targeting March 2 for launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on its uncrewed Demo-1 test flight. Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test is targeted for launch no earlier than April.
Extra time was needed to complete hardware testing, data verification, remaining NASA and provider reviews, and training of flight controllers and mission managers.
In January, SpaceX successfully completed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon atop the rocket at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida, in preparation for Demo-1.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner continues to undergo testing in preparation for its Orbital Flight Test, and United Launch Alliance is conducting final processing of the Atlas V rocket that will launch Starliner from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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
Dragon 2 Features
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.
Prior Success With a Static Fire
Static fire test complete—targeting February launch from historic Launch Complex 39A for Crew Dragon’s first demonstration flight! pic.twitter.com/sJF24U3UOM
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 25, 2019
SOURCES- NASA, SpaceX
Written By Brian Wang. Nextbigfuture
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.