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NASA and SpaceX livestream about Crew Dragon with Elon Musk



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LOS ANGELES ̵

1; NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wants to tour SpaceX headquarters on Thursday, as he checks in on the company's progress towards his first launch of astronauts.

Bridenstine wants to be joined by SpaceX founder Elon Musk following the tour, as well as the two astronauts NASA assigned to fly on the first mission, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. NASA's Commercial Crew program has been finalized in 2014.

The meeting comes at a key time, as the government

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, left, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at the Kennedy Space Center following the March 2, 2:49 am EST launch of the SpaceX spacecraft mission to the International Space Station.

NASA | Kim Shiflett

A short history of Commercial Crew

Commercial Crew is NASA's solution to once again launch. astronauts from U.S. soil. Soyuz spacecraft – at a cost to NASA of more than $ 70 million per seat.

NASA's new program is designed to be competitive. In 2014, NASA won contracts for SpaceX for $ 2.6 billion and Boeing for $ 4.2 billion. Future Commercial Crew contracts would be on Boeing's Starliner capsule and SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

Crew Dragon is an official version of the Cargo Dragon capsule. Launched on top of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets, Cargo Dragon has completed 18 missions to the ISS over nearly a decade.

The SpaceX Crew's Dragon capsule is mounted on the company's Falcon 9 rocket in a hangar at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

19659002] SpaceX

Yet delays have plagued the program, as NASA's first Commercial Crew launches to happen as early as 2017. Both SpaceX and Boeing have taken to release the capsules has taken longer than expected. [19659002] In August 2018, NASA named the five astronauts who would be on the first two Boeing flights and the four astronauts for the first two SpaceX flights.

Then NASA ordered a safety review of both companies interviews of employees this year. NASA officials, according to the Washington Post, said: "NASA officials, according to the Washington Post, make NASA's requirements for a cultural assessment study workplace safety.

As of the beginning of this month, both safety reviews were ongoing. Bridenstine said: "The successful first test flight to the space station"

SpaceX passed a key milestone in March after it completed demo -1, a mission which saw Crew Dragon launch and return from the ISS successfully. SpaceX and NASA praising the test.

"The vehicle really did better than we expected and then the rendezvous was phenomenal as we came in," NASA's Steve "Deputy manager for the commercial crew program," said

"Benjamin Reed, SpaceX's director of crew mission management, said. "Everything just happened … almost down to the second."

There were no crew aboard the capsule. But Musk's company included a "dummy" named Ripley in one of Dragon's seats, clad in a SpaceX flight suit. Following the mission's success, NASA will launch SpaceX's first crewed flight, Demo-2, for July.

NASA and SpaceX won an Emmy award for the combined coverage of the Demo-1 flight.

An explosive setback in April [19659007] About two months after the demo-1 mission, SpaceX conducted a test in Florida of the flown Crew Dragon capsule. While some initial tests were successful, a final test of the capsule's rocket thrusters caused anomaly that led to an explosion. Leaked video, which was published in NASA's memo later confirmed as authentic.

SpaceX created an investigation team shortly after anomaly with officials from NASA, with participation from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. While Bridenstine said that SpaceX's "communication with NASA was good."

"NASA and SpaceX have agreed to improve public communication after such events," Bridenstine said in July.

SpaceX issued a full statement on its website detailing the results of the investigation later in July, which revealed that it was in the explosion. The spacecraft has been tested alongside NASA.

Bridenstine adds pressure as delays continue

The most recent commercial crew schedule update was five months ago – just before the crew Dragon explosion occurred. That's in part because Bridenstine removed NASA's former leader of human spaceflight Bill Gerstenmaier from his role in July. The administrator said NASA needed more urgency in address inflation costs and delayed schedules for its key exploration programs.

Shortly after Gerstenmaier's reassignment, NASA said the timeline was under review. Brittenstine clarifies that NASA does not provide a new timeline for commercial crew until a replacement is made.

In the meantime, Bridenstine has publicly added pressure, especially on SpaceX. Bridenstine, in a statement on the day before Musk gave a highly-anticipated update on the company's next-generation rocket called Starship, said "NASA's exploits to focus on the investments of the American taxpayer." While Bridenstine said he was "looking forward to the SpaceX announcement," he emphasized that "Commercial Crew is behind schedule," adding "It's time to deliver."

Although Bridenstine's statement spoke about Commercial Crew, he did not mention Boeing, which is also behind schedule.

During the Starship presentation, Musk responded to Bridenstine.

"From a SpaceX resource standpoint "Our resources are overwhelmingly on Falcon and Dragon." Let's be clear, it was quite a small percentage of SpaceX that did Starship, "Musk said, noting that he believes less than 5% of the company's total workforce has been working on the new Rocket.

While Musk has said SpaceX wants to be ready for its next milestone, known as an inflight abort test, in about 10 weeks, Bridenstine has remained skeptical. The explosion, as well as capsule's parachute systems, will take at least three more months, Bridenstine estimated.


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