SpaceX Crew Dragon Arrives In Florida For Manned Mission

James Marshall
February 19, 2020

After a series of stunning successes, SpaceX is working with NASA to finalize preparations to launch humans into space from Florida once again. Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program, NASA has relied exclusively on the Russian space agency Roscosmos for rides to the station on its Soyuz capsule.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule will launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnkin and Doug Hurley on a crewed test mission to the station.

The space capsule that will likely carry the first astronauts to the International Space Station from the US since 2011 has arrived in Florida ahead of a planned flight as early as this spring.

NASA's Commercial Crew Program has worked with several American aerospace industry companies to facilitate the development of USA human spaceflight systems since 2010.

The reliance on Russian rockets is about to end.

The commercial crew program has faced issues in the past, such as the recent orbital test flight of the Boeing Starliner capsule which had several problems. Not only did the capsule fail to make it to the ISS due to a timing issue, but a subsequent investigation discovered a second error which could have brought the capsule down had it not been discovered in time.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon is one of two spacecraft that aim to achieve this operational status for NASA, alongside the Boeing Starliner CST-100 crew vehicle, which is undergoing development and testing.

Meanwhile, SpaceX performed an in-flight abort test in January, the last major demonstration it needed to do before moving on to the crewed demo mission. While the cargo Dragon can carry 7,291 pounds of cargo to the ISS today, the Crew Dragon will be able to fly up to 7 astronauts to the ISS.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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