NASA and SpaceX Successful Crew-1 Launch and Now Docking to ISS

SpaceX and NASA had a successful launch yesterday and today they are docking to the International Space Station.

NASA is paying SpaceX $3.1 billion for Crew Dragon development and to launch six operational missions. Boeing will be paid $4.8 billion for Starliner development and its six missions.

After the Space Shuttle was retired, NASA has paid Russia about $86 million per seat to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA expects to pay $55 million per astronaut to fly with Crew Dragon, as opposed to $86 million per astronaut to fly with the Russians.

This will be a six month mission to the Space Station.

Written By Brian Wang,

27 thoughts on “NASA and SpaceX Successful Crew-1 Launch and Now Docking to ISS”

  1. IMHO, I think for the next few years/decade or two, with Starship (& clones), it will be cheaper to pre-fab on Earth and assemble in space, either entire sections, or at least portions of sections of structures. I am hopeful we can start designing spacecraft that will be assembled in space and need not have the requirement for atmospheric interference, as they will only ever be used in space.
    What will be very interesting will be seeing how the future manufacturing operations in space are able to convert raw ores to refined materials in zero-g operations. And then, from refined to finished products. Once that happens, perhaps we will have exited the Great Filter. Exciting times are on the horizon.

  2. I would be surprised if you could adapt a Soyuz to be reusable. I strongly suspect you'd need to design for that from the start.

  3. SpaceX, and Musk's other companies in general, have about 14 balls in the air right now. And we've seen them sometimes make mistakes which at least some people have attributed to being tired and distracted. It won't help to have them deal with yet another issue.

    Meanwhile, NASA has shown a disturbing tendency to bow to wacko pressure groups over the past decade or two.

  4. Without re-usable boosters there is no sustainable space program. Making Soyuz land to keep it going forever would really be something.

  5. So, if a Starship lunar cargo version is launched, it would have fewer engines, I suppose, and could be partially refueled from O2 derived from the bulk rego it delivers to ISS. If they got H2O and Cxx too, seems like they would easily beat the current plan of Earth launched fuel, esp for hundreds of Mars ships later on.

  6. Yes, exactly. Lunar materials. After lunar refueling set up. All of the mass is useful. People need to be involved in setting the equipment up, so it will not take years of design. Then, the rego is put to use from the start, and the working factories can be sent to Gateway Halo orbit for bigger hauls, more efficiency. Expand to cis lunar asteroid capture. Keep expanding.

  7. A tiny amount compared to the size of Russian economy, but a significant amount for Russia space program.

  8. I wonder how much we were contributing to the Russian economy…and how much it will be hurt, especially the cities involved. Do they launch any commercial satellites? Probably not. Probably too many other affordable options in the World.

  9. Net present value of the profit on all his future films, minus the fortune they'll make on this movie if they get actual footage of the hero tragically dying in a rapid decompression accident (they've already got that version of the script prepared).

  10. I agree. Life support is already being done with Crew Dragon, same company. Need a place for all those people to hang about.

  11. Check out the Lunar Gateway plans, modular, standardized, IN orbit, so can be mix and matched anywhere cis lunar. Make pressure vessels and solar panels from lunar material will help with those cheapo space habitats. "space stations" are places to wait for a trip to an important destination. Planet chauvinism!

  12. Yep. My hunch is they will come to their senses when they have no other choice, and when everyone else will be already on the Starship train.

  13. NASA might come around on Starship surprisingly quickly, mainly because Starship is intended to be so cheaply and rapidly reusable that they could potentially rack up an impressive safety record in shockingly short period of time. Once they have e.g. 3 operational Starships launching 1x per week, that is 156 flights / year. It will also take some time to develop and test life support systems. I would think they should be ready for crewed flights by 2024 if they have successful orbital flights in 2021.

  14. Time to start thinking about putting up a few more space stations. Not the $100 billion kind. The $few billion kind. Lease them out to companies to explore space manufacturing.

  15. Now, we need more "space" in Space to go to. Crew numbers are clearly able to go up with more money, but they have experiments to do, and things to make. Starship cargo should be fine for that. And we can go to the Moon for materials and science. Soundz good to me!

  16. Beyond taking Tom Cruise to space to meet his leader? 🙂

    It seems certain they could launch more than the couple capsules they will launch for NASA next year, so it's likely Gwynne Shotwell already has some new paying clients in the manifest.

  17. This was a big thing for the US, but people are now commenting on the sly wink Shotwell made during the presser regarding future capsule missions. We might see something interesting beyond the expected commercial flight for Axiom.

  18. 3.1 beelion USD sounds like a lot, and it is, but it's chump change compared with the cost of the ISS and the Shuttle projects.

    And there is no reason why they can't continue using Crew Dragon after the agreed 6 flights are done.

    In fact, I imagine Crew Dragon (and the other one, when it flies) will become the new work horses of NASA's crewed programs.

    Until there is something much, much, better that is, and they start using it for cargo and scientific missions; but I'm afraid crewed Earth launches of Starship will be a tough sale for NASA.

    It's simply too different to their usual mindset, and it will take a while for NASA to accept them.

    So, it is likely NASA will stick to the capsules we are seeing right now, for taking people to and from space, at least for a while.

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