SpaceX Dragon Crew Demo-1 Flight to Space Station: What to Expect Space.com - Mon 11 Feb 07:14 GMT
Here's what you need to know about SpaceX's Crew Dragon astronaut taxi, its upcoming shakeout flight to the space station and the short-term future of human spaceflight.
Elon Musk's company aims to fly the first demonstration mission of its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 2.
Crew Dragon will launch atop SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, a two-stage vehicle that features a reusable first stage.
Crew Dragon is a modified, upgraded version of SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo capsule, which has been flying uncrewed resupply missions to the ISS under a different NASA contract since 2012.
The escape system, which is designed to get Crew Dragon out of harm's way in case of a launch emergency, consists of eight SpaceX SuperDraco engines built into the capsule's body.
But each individual Crew Dragon will not fly multiple ISS missions for NASA, at least not initially, SpaceX representatives have will launch from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.