SpaceX Pushes Back ‘Especially Dangerous’ Dragon Test

SpaceX Crew Dragon Cape Canaveral January 2019

SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk both shared images of the capsule sitting pretty. SpaceX's capsule is now in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

More than half of Kennedy Space Center employees are affected by the government shutdown.

The Crew Dragon's first test flight is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, but it might be delayed because of the ongoing partial government shutdown in the United States. Like the previous version, Dragon-2 will be displayed on the orbit by carrier rocket Falcon 9.

American manned spacecraft Dragon-2 will be launched to ISS unmanned in February.

No astronauts will be on board for this demonstration mission, but this is the first launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon, a spacecraft that will soon transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

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Aside from the flight schedule, Musk also revealed what the test Starship will look like.

The launch of Crew Dragon is a crucial step in NASA's Commercial Crew program.

Since the retirement of the space shuttle almost eight years ago, NASA has bought expensive rides on Russian rockets. If successful, the Crew Dragon will move on to a crewed test flight later this year, with NASA astronaut Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley onboard. The space agency selected SpaceX and Boeing to design, build and launch spacecraft to carry US astronauts back and forth to the space station as a replacement for the space shuttle.

Like SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon ships, the Crew Dragon will launch on the company's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX hopes to make history from Launch Complex 39A, which also hosted the launch of the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969 and the first space shuttle mission in 1981. The spaceship is created to carry up to seven astronauts to and from the International Space Station.


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