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The Crew Dragon spacecraft has successfully landed in the Atlantic Ocean * The next demonstration mission will already be manned

The US manned space program passed a major milestone this week, when SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth after a five-day mission docked at the International Space Station

Crew Dragon spacecraft landing on unmanned DEMO-1 mission. Photo: NASA
Crew Dragon spacecraft landing on unmanned DEMO-1 mission. Photo: NASA

The US manned space program passed a major milestone this week, when SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth after a five-day mission docked at the International Space Station.

On Friday, 8/3/19 at 16:45 PM Israel time, about six hours after it left the space station, the spacecraft, which this time was still unmanned, fell about 350 km off the coast of Cape Canaveral in Florida. SpaceX drank the spacecraft from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and transported it back to port on the rescue ship.

 

"Today's success and return of the Crew Dragon capsule after its first mission to the International Space Station marked another important milestone in the future of manned space. ", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "I want to congratulate the NASA and SpaceX teams again for an amazing week. Our plan to fly crew members through business entities is a big step closer to launching American astronauts, on American launchers from American soil. I am proud of the great work that has been done to bring us to this point."

In the mission, dubbed DEMO-1 as a demonstration flight, the Crew Dragon spacecraft was unmanned. It was launched on March 2 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and set several initial records in less than a week:

  • The first spacecraft built for commercial purposes and operated by an American crew, with the launcher also taking off from American soil to the International Space Station.
  • The first commercial spacecraft capable of carrying humans docked at the International Space Station.
  • First autonomous docking of an American spacecraft at the International Space Station.
  • First use of a new design for adapters connecting the space station and the Crew Dragon spacecraft. This design will also be used by the Orion spacecraft for NASA's future mission to the Moon.

 

NASA and SpaceX teams gathered in the early morning hours at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, to monitor the landing and journey of the spacecraft in the ocean.

The Ripley doll, flown on the DEMO 1 test flight of the SPACEX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Screenshot, SPACEX
The Ripley doll, flown on the DEMO 1 test flight of the SPACEX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Screenshot, SPACEX9

"We were all very excited to see the entry into the atmosphere, the deployment of the tow chute and the main chute and finally, the contact with the water. Everything happened exactly on time, as we expected. It was beautiful"

Re-entry, parachute and drogue deploy, main deploy, splashdown - everything happened exactly. It was right on time, as we expected it to be. It was beautiful," said Benji Reed, Crew Dragon mission manager at SpaceX.

This is an important step toward verifying the performance of the Demo-1 systems, but there is more work to prepare the spacecraft to fly astronauts.

 

After all, there was a passenger on this flight - a mannequin in the form of a woman in a space suit, who was named Ripley, a tribute to the movie The Eighth Passenger. Ripley was equipped with sensors that provided data that would make it possible to assess the possible effects on humans who would fly in the spacecraft. After SpaceX processes data from this mission, teams will begin preparing the Crew Dragon for its next mission - a manned flight test this summer. Demo-2, the spacecraft will carry NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who will confirm that the spacecraft is indeed ready for routine operational missions.

 

"For the first time, we performed an end-to-end test and saw how the people, equipment, processes and procedures work together and that's important for putting people on board the spacecraft," said NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, who is scheduled to depart the space station in the first operational spacecraft of the Crew Dragon series following Demo- 2. "I'm personally very eager to hear how Ripley felt after they took her out of the capsule and put her on the ship."

Summary of the journey of the DEMO-1 spacecraft

2 תגובות

  1. Remember when I complained about Ripley not getting invited in? This can be understood against the background of her history in regards to the fate of ships and space stations that she encountered in the course of her career. In any case, it was not her welcome Mr. Globe-Earth who also arrived. Don't miss the following video, especially not the last few minutes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8LUbag1bS0

  2. Before the manned launch of a team in a new vehicle (Demo 2) another test must be performed (with the vehicle that has just returned from the trip, and with the first stage of the Falcon 9 that flew it) in which the ability to operate the escape system at high altitude and at supersonic speed, and a safe descent back to the country It should happen around June.

    Apart from that, Boeing also plans to launch its manned vehicle for test flights this year. Her vehicle will land itself in Klassa, in the desert.

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