NASA and SpaceX Will Fly Four on Mission to the Space Station

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Oct. 23 for the first operational flight with astronauts of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station. This will be the start of regular missions to the Space Station.

The mission will carry Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Shannon Walker, all of NASA, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi for a six-month science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory following launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Written by Brian Wang,

6 thoughts on “NASA and SpaceX Will Fly Four on Mission to the Space Station”

  1. SpaceX should partner with Bigelow Aerospace to construct a LEO research-tourist destination, that will eventually serve as way station to the moon.

    That will give SpaceX a reason to conduct Dragon launches for more than just NASA.

  2. OK. A set of crew-rated F9/Dragon launches could possibly do that. For the Moon it’s a very different proposition.

    But it would still require a lot of development, for the missing parts.

    And it seems SpaceX won’t take F9/Dragon development any further.

  3. The Falcon Heavy isn’t rated for launching men but you don’t need it for the moon. I think you use one Falcon Heavy to launch a moon transfer and return stage. Another one for a moon landing and takeoff stage. A regular Falcon can launch the space capsule which would rendezvous with the moon transfer stage and take off from the Moon.

    Something similar could be done to send men to Mars. Just of to loft more weight.

  4. I assume you refer to a Falcon Heavy launched Dragon capsule. It certainly could go to Mars and land.

    But I think a Dragon would be a bit too small for a viable crewed mission. In terms of minimum living space and supplies needed, you might barely do it for a person or two.

    But it won’t have any margins and besides, there are the problems of returning (requiring an additional surface launcher) radiation exposure and psychological wellness.

    The last one is not optional. Sitting in a small room for months, without proper toilets and showers surely won’t be good for the morale.

    Going to Mars shouldn’t be a torture and add mental problems to the already daunting ones of going there, landing, surviving and returning. Astronauts deserve some place to call home on that faraway land.

  5. The Dragon Heavy could send man to the Moon and maybe even to Mars. You would need a lander but that wouldn’t be that difficult. Throttle down a Merlin. Use the legs from the booster. And use a Dragon capsule for living quarters. You already have all of the complicated hardware done. All you need to do is mod them a little.

  6. How much cargo can the Crew Capsule carry to the ISS? I see it can carry around 3300 kilos total.
    But with 4 astronauts, how much additional cargo will it contain?

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