On Tuesday, SpaceX founder Elon Musk reported on the progress of NASA's NASA spacecraft Crew Dragon. The new information indicates that Musk is giving the program priority to prepare Dragon to fly astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station.
This is a critical time for NASA exploring the possibility of buying additional Russian Soyuz Seats for International Space Station missions or late 2020 missions. This may be due to political concerns and long lead times for the production of additional Soyuz vehicles not possible. NASA's only other option is to extend the missions in the orbit lab. Priority for the agency is to keep at least one US crew member in addition to his Russian crew at the station.
Musk shared the new information on Twitter Tuesday in response to a tweet of this reporter who stated that "complete panic" has occurred at NASA headquarters when the agency tries to buy seating, perhaps Extend crew missions and launch commercial missions. Flight Demolition Before SpaceX flies an Occupying Mission, SpaceX must demonstrate the demolition abilities of the Dragon Spaceship during the flight. During a missile launch, the spacecraft's Super Draco engines ignite quickly to keep the spacecraft from an exploding booster. This upcoming test gained in importance after the explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft during engine tests in April.
Since then, however, both the SpaceX and NASA officials have stated understanding the cause of this accident, and the company has begun. On Tuesday Musk shared with that both the Falcon 9-missile Also, the Crew Dragon vehicle to be used for the crash test in flight was shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The hardware still needs to be configured for the test flight, but he estimates it will be in late November or early December.
The other major technical problem that SpaceX must address is the parachute system. The company has experienced some mistakes during the dozens of fall tests it has conducted with its four-parachute system. The company strives to balance the robustness of the parachute system while keeping the overall mass low.
"We had to reallocate some resources to accelerate this and received great support from Airborne, our parachute supplier." Musk said on Twitter. "I was in their Irvine factory with the SpaceX team on Saturday and Sunday, focusing on the advanced Mk3 slide, which provides the highest safety factor for astronauts." Both the rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the first manned mission to arrive at the company's launch facilities in Florida in about 10 weeks. Within this period, the hardware tests should also be completed.
In this case, the ball would be sent to the NASA court to review all documents and procedures of the company and to sign a mission with crew. One source said it was possible to do so on time to support a flight in spring 2020 – but no one offers start up guarantees yet.