SpaceX Will Fly Four Tourists to Orbit in 2021-2022 on NASA Approved Crew Dragon

Space Adventures, Inc. and SpaceX will fly private citizens on the first Crew Dragon free-flyer mission.

This mission will be the first orbital space tourism experience provided entirely with American technology. Private citizens will fly aboard SpaceX’s fully autonomous Crew Dragon spacecraft launched by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, the same spacecraft and launch vehicle that SpaceX will use to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

NASA has approved that SpaceX crew dragon has met the loss of crew (LOC) requirement established by NASA at the beginning of the program. The LOC requirement is the odds of an accident killing or causing serious injury to a crewmember be no more than 1 in 270 flights for a 210-day mission at the International Space Station. This covers all aspects of the mission, including launch and reentry.

The 1-in-270 LOC requirement for commercial crew is more stringent than the 1-in-90 value at the end of the shuttle program.

The orbiting of a crew dragon should have better odds than the NASA requirement. The tourist orbital mission would be shorter and would not involve any docking with the space station.

13 thoughts on “SpaceX Will Fly Four Tourists to Orbit in 2021-2022 on NASA Approved Crew Dragon”

  1. The BE4 uses Liquid natural gas which is mostly methane. The Engine also uses a stage combustion fuel cycle.

    SpaceX Raptor uses just methane and a Full Flow Staged Combustion fuel cycle and runs a higher chamber pressure. This makes the SpaceX engine more efficient, smaller, and lighter while still producing 80% of the thrust of a BE4

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  3. Hey brain wang, could you turn off pop ups for people using cellphone or tablets to view this website… it’s really terrible and impossible to read this website on these devices..

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  4. No offence man but there’s so much wrong with your post – I do agree that the BE4 is a great engine but SpaceX went with methane for some very good reasons. The Raptor engine is an utter beast.

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  5. Would be nice but not a chance in hell, would take huge numbers of landings to qualify. Starship will be along much more quickly. Parachutes work just fine 🙂

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  6. Idle thought: Will SpaceX authorize the Crew Dragon to use a thruster landing on these missions? Probably not, but it would be glorious…

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  7. Smarter still is to actually check the literature for a reality check before taking for granted that your non-rocket engineer smart idea is “obviously” better.

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  8. Besides hydrogen causes embrittlement in most metals (tanks and and pipes), which doesn’t matter that much for single use rockets, but it’s really bad for reusability.

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  9. I think they chose the correct fuel for what they want to use most of the rockets for. The support infrastructure (the launchpads and such) would be very expensive if they used hydrogen. And we don’t get hydrogen that way. They get it from methane anyway.
    Hydrogen requires a lot of cooling. You also have substantial losses because any tank you make for it will be made of larger atoms than hydrogen and some of the hydrogen will escape.
    Pritty iffy gambeling that you can make enough fuel on Mars expecally as it will leak out of your tanks as you make and store it.

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  10. I only see SpaceX and BO cooperating under duress and/or with complete products on a bigger contract.

    For example “launch this lunar lander made by Blue Origin on a SpaceX Starship because NASA is paying for it”.

    But otherwise I don’t think they will do any effort to leverage their competitor’s products or make a combined one.

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  11. If all goes well, this will be just a transitional phase before crewed Starship trips start.

    It may take a few years until those become available for anyone with the money, though. So we can expect to see several of these Crewed Dragon trips.

    Funnily, I expect Starship to never get NASA’s crewed flight seal of approval. So all NASA’s crewed missions will happen with SpaceX and Boeing’s capsules in the foreseeable future.

    At least until it becomes painfully obvious that Starship is much cheaper and a viable option. Or not, Starship really has a lot to prove.

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  12. Quite frankly, the smarter option is to combine Spacex starship for its reusability, first stage can be of either company with blue origin hydrogen rocket engines as we are moving to an age of mass production rocketry. Good for the environment, much easier to mine water only for fuel like on the moon and asteroids as well as Mars than water and CO2 for methane.

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