вторник, 5 марта 2019 г.

Demo-1: What’s the Deal?

Whether or not you caught the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch this past weekend, here’s your chance to learn why this mission, known as Demo-1, is such a big deal.

The First of its Kind

Demo-1 is the first flight test of an American spacecraft designed for humans built and operated by a commercial company. 



The SpaceX Crew Dragon lifted off at 2:49 a.m. EST Saturday, March 2, on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center. 

This was the first time in history a commercially-built American crew spacecraft and rocket launched from American soil. 

Docking the Dragon


After making 18 orbits of Earth, the Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully attached to the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 5:51 a.m. EST Sunday, March 3. The Crew Dragon used the station’s new international docking adapter for the first time since astronauts installed it in August 2016

The docking phase, in addition to the return and recovery of Crew Dragon, are critical to understanding the system’s ability to support crew flights.

A New Era in Human Spaceflight


Although the test is uncrewed, that doesn’t mean the Crew Dragon is empty. Along for the ride was Ripley, a lifelike test device outfitted with sensors to provide data about potential effects on future astronauts. (There is also a plush Earth doll strapped inside that can float in the microgravity!)

Astronauts on the International Space Station welcomed the Crew Dragon spacecraft in a ceremony onboard. NASA Astronaut Anne McClain from inside Crew Dragon said, “Welcome to a new era in human spaceflight.”

Inside the Dragon

For future operational missions, Crew Dragon will be able to launch as many as four crew members and carry more than 220 pounds of cargo. This will increase the number of astronauts who are able to live onboard the station, which will create more time for research in the unique microgravity environment.

SpaceX and NASA


Elon Musk, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX, expressed appreciation for NASA’s support: “SpaceX would not be here without NASA, without the incredible work that was done before SpaceX even started and without the support after SpaceX did start.”

Preparation for Demo-2


NASA and SpaceX will use data from Demo-1 to further prepare for Demo-2, the crewed flight test that will carry NASA astronauts and Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. NASA will validate the performance of SpaceX’s systems before putting crew on board for the Demo-2 flight, currently targeted for July 2019.



The Crew Dragon is designed to stay docked to station for up to 210 days, although the spacecraft used for this flight test will remain docked to the space station for only five days, departing Friday, March 8. (We will be providing live coverage — don’t miss it!)

Demo-1: So What?


Demo-1 is a big deal because it demonstrates NASA and commercial companies working together to advance future space exploration! With Demo-1’s success, NASA and SpaceX will begin to prepare to safely fly astronauts to the orbital laboratory.

Follow along with mission updates with the Space Station blog.

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Соединение Юпитера  ♃  и  Сатурна  ♄   21 декабря 2020   16 : 30 по Гринвичу, 21 декабря 2020 года, состоится условное соединение Юпитера ♃ ...