Getting closer to launch

NASA and SpaceX yesterday (May 23 2020) completed the final rehearsal for the upcoming first manned launch of the Crew Dragon space craft. NASA Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken went through pre-launch procedures in preparation for the flight scheduled for Wednesday, 27 May 2020.

Weather conditions are a concern for the launch schedule. Alternative launch dates for the mission to the ISS fall on 30 May and 31 May.

Credit: SpaceX

Moving closer to the Crew Dragon launch

On 21 May 2020 the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon capsule arrived at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.undefined

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

On 22 May 2020 SpaceX and NASA completed the mission’s flight readiness review, including a static firing of the Falcon 9 first stage engines, as seen below.

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Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The next step is a dry dress rehearsal (rocket does not get fueled) scheduled for 23 May 2020. Launch is currently scheduled for 27 May 2020.

Great space news!

NASA and SpaceX have announced the date for the first manned flight to launch from the U.S. since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

#LaunchAmerica
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Demo-2 commercial crew mission being prepared for a launch now scheduled for May 27. Credit: SpaceX

NASA has not used its iconic “worm” logo on a spacecraft since 1992. But as the above photo shows, the logo is back for this historic launch.

Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX companies helping with the ventilator shortage

First, Tesla is racing to build a ventilator that relies on readily available Tesla car parts – brilliant!

Yesterday ventilator manufacturer Medtronic also tweeted that Musk’s other company SpaceX “is now making a vital component for critical care ventilators,” meaning more of the devices would arrive sooner for COVID-19 patients.

Musk has also donated ventilators that he purchased outright to both California and New York.

SpaceX takes huge step towards Crew Dragon manned flight

On 19 January 2020 SpaceX and NASA conducted a test of the Crew Dragon launch escape system. They launched an unmanned Crew Dragon with a Falcon 9 rocket and had the Falcon 9 deliberately fail to test the escape system. As you can see in the video below, all went well and there was an amazing – and expected – explosion along the way. This is a very important step towards having US astronauts launch into space on a US built space craft from US soil, perhaps as soon as the second quarter of the year.