Elon Musk Says SpaceX’s First Test Flight Will Be “Especially Dangerous”

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Even though Musk stated that the first test launch of the Commercial crew mission would be delayed, over the weekend, he also Tweeted that the demo flight will not be without any dangers. Fortunately, it will have no humans on board.

We mentioned last week that Musk explained in his tweets about the testing being delayed until February, considering NASA is not working full time because of the partial government shutdown and has some technical issues too.

Most of the final approvals for the launch must be made by the agency only some key government officials work without being paid.

An “Extremely Intense” Test Flight

Both NASA and SpaceX are now hoping that the demonstration flight will be successful so that the agency can again send humans into space by cooperating with an American private company. NASA will be able to send astronauts to the International Space Station.

Musk knew that questions about the first mission will begin to pour now that it’s so close to it, so he replied:

Yes, will be extremely intense. Early flights are especially dangerous, as there’s a lot of new hardware.

However, the statement from Musk didn’t go well with what NASA’s plans. According to their demands to the providers, NASA has asked for a spaceflight system what will have a probability of “loss of mission” should be 1 in 230 or less.

But what Musk stated was actually obvious, explains Wayne Hale, a consultant and a member of NASA’s Advisory Council:

First flights of new space vehicles carry inherent risk. Test is better but has limitations too. It is never possible to test the entire integrated system in the complete flight environment. Ground tests and partial environment tests provide some confidence but there is no test like an actual flight.

What SpaceX will have to see if it all works – as the new version of the Dragon spacecraft has new configurations.

Hale added that second flights would be “only slightly less risky” than the first one and that:

“Risk is inherent to this business and it would be foolish not to acknowledge it. But the biggest risk is staying home and not trying.”