SpaceX has just moved their Dragon capsule on the Launchpad as they’re getting it ready for the first uncrewed test flight which is scheduled for 17 January.
Unfortunately, because of the partial government shutdown, the launch could be delayed. It is meant to take off from the Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral, Florida). But since most of the U.S. space agency has been closed because of that, the first test could be delayed, stated SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk in a tweet on 5 January:
“About a month away from the first orbital test flight of crew Dragon.”
This means that the first flight might be at the beginning of early February, but the schedule change was not announced officially.
If the uncrewed test is successful, SpaceX will carry one with its first crewed flight that will have two NASA astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. The flight was scheduled for this June.
The new photos from SpaceX show the first Crew Dragon attached to the rocket, in launch position.
The Crew Dragon spaceship is a crewed version of the already developed and used Dragon cargo ships which have been sent in missions beginning with 2010.
We mentioned a few months ago that Boeing is also making a crewed ship for NASA, called the CST-100 Starliner, which should make their uncrewed test flight in March and a crewed flight this year.
SpaceX is also working on a bigger crewed spacecraft that will be able to fly up to 100 people on deep-space missions. It is called Starship, and it should eventually be the means through which humans will get to Mars. According to Musk, a “hopper” prototype of the Starship will start getting tested in the next months. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has already booked a flight on the massive spacecraft where he hopes to fly artists around the moon in the mid-2020s.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere