Boeing Co. and Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies have contracted with NASA to fly astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Crew Program. NASA has now introduced us to the astronauts who will fly with the companies.
Four scientists will fly with the Crew Dragon. Spacecraft, SpaceX has been designed to ferry them safely from the orbiting lab.
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SpaceX will conduct a demonstration mission-Demo-1. The Crew Dragon Spacecraft for Demo-1 will undergo thermal vacuum and acoustic testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Ohio. The mission is at present targeted for November.
SpaceX will swiftly carry the Dragon capsule to safety in the event of an in-flight mishap with the Falcon 9 rocket.
However, there would be no astronauts on board for this test, which will be conducted from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is expected to happen early next month.
After Demo-1 and the abort test, U.S. Air Force Colonel Bob Behbken and former Marine Corps test pilot Doug Hurley will be the first two astronauts to fly in the Dragon, which will launch from Kennedy Space Center.
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After SpaceX successfully completes Demo-2, NASA will certify the spacecraft and systems for regular crewed launches.
“Not coming back to my family is the only thing I am scared about” said a scientist flying with Crew Dragon.