More hope for the future, as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon passed tests with flying colors and proved that the capsule is getting ready to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The company will be working with NASA for the purpose of transporting crew members outside the limits of our planet.
Until now, NASA has been dependant on Russia’s Soyuz capsule to take their astronauts up to the ISS. The costs are estimated to reach around $70 million per seat, all of which are directed toward the Russian space agency. In the last couple of years, however, NASA partnered up with Boeing and SpaceX for the purpose of severing the costly ties. Their aim is to launch astronauts into space directly from American soil.
SpaceX has been working rigorously on the task, most recently providing tests with their Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon (or Dragon 2) capsule. Both had been met with skepticism, so the company continue to prove their potential. For the most part.
Falcon 9 successfully took the Jason-3 satellite up above our planet where it can monitor the world’s oceans. However, upon return, the rocket failed its safe landing on a barge, tipping over and exploding once again in the ocean. That posed as worry, even though the space craft managed to land perfectly on a proper landing pad.
The Crew Dragon was now tested in McGregor, Texas, and passed with excellent results. SpaceX posted a video online that boasted their success. The capsule successfully hovered above the ground nearly immaculate and unmoving by using its eight SuperDraco engines. The space craft on itself will be used to transport astronauts, so its stability is well needed for proper adjusting to the ISS. The smallest glitch in its steadiness and the crew could be in danger.
However, that does not seem to be the case. The Crew Dragon beautifully hovered in place, showing the sought-after potential equal to that of a helicopter landing on a helipad. If it all goes according to the plan, Falcon 9 and the Crew Dragon both will launch in 2017 to bring astronauts to the ISS. And, thus, offer NASA the ability of sending its crew members up directly from the United States, saving substantial funds in the process.
Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon might launch in 2017 for the ISS
The thrusters of the Crew Dragon have proven themselves effective, and yet won’t be used for the first flight with a crew. Instead, SpaceX will be using the capsule’s parachutes and a slow descent into the ocean, for safety’s sake. It appears that the thrusters might instead be used when the parachutes do not prove to be enough. Should it be the case, the crew will have a well performing backup to bring them home safely.
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