A launchpad disaster involving Crew
Dragon of SpaceX took place in April during testing. However, the company has
taken corrective measures and is back on track after carrying out a successful
There has been no definite timeline
for the Crew Dragon. What we are trying to say is that it has remained
flexible. Ever since 2014, the spacecraft has been undergoing development and
tests as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program along with Boeing’s CST-100
Starliner. The basic idea is to have US-built spacecraft that can take
astronauts to the ISS for the first time ever since the Space Shuttle program
got discontinued in 2011.
Crew Dragon is actually based on
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule. The Dragon Capsule has been taking cargo to and
bringing it back from the International Space Station since 2012. However, it
has been modified for human travel, and the outcome is Crew Dragon. But the
company has to make sure that it is completely safe before having astronauts
jumping in and heading for orbit. In order to ascertain its safety, SpaceX is
subjecting Crew Dragon to a series of intensive tests.
Last year, before any disaster had
happened, SpaceX was aiming for June 2019 for its first manned flights. This
was pushed back to July, and now the first manned flights have been postponed
without an exact date after the explosion that took place in April. The
explosion happened because of a leaky happened and happened during a static
fire test of the Draco thrusters. These thrusters are to be used as abort
rockets for blasting the vehicle clear of the launchpad if any emergency
The Draco thrusters will undergo
testing again before the Crew Dragon goes into orbit with people onboard.
Falcon 9 rocket, which will be used for lifting Crew Dragon to space, has also
been undergoing tests including static fire tests. We will have to wait until a
final date for launching is given to us, but this would be the first time that
SpaceX will be able to send astronauts to space if all this goes according to
plan, and we are excited!
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