Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Dragon Ready for Return Ahead of Commercial Crew Announcement

NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews Dragon Ready for Return Ahead of Commercial Crew Announcement
Stacy Houston | 03 August, 2018, 16:25

An engine flaw discovered during a launchpad test of Boeing's Starliner spaceship, created to carry humans to the International Space Station, has delayed its first crew test flight until next year.

Congress ultimately boosted NASA's overall budget for the fiscal year that began on October 1 to almost $20.7 billion, part of a defense spending binge that also benefited nondefense projects.

A report issued last month by a United States government auditor said Boeing and SpaceX are unlikely to be able to send astronauts to the ISS next year, resulting in a possible gap in the United States presence on the spacecraft.

To certify that the vehicles are ready to be used by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner must pass three test missions: one without a crew and two with a crew.

NASA will announce the crew assignments for the crew flight tests and the first post-certification mission for both Boeing and SpaceX.

The news, announced on NASA's Commercial Crew program blog, doesn't come as a surprise.

The crew for Boeing's Crew Flight Test and SpaceX's Demo-2 flights will each include at least a flight commander and pilot aboard to test out the systems.

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp.is set to beat Boeing Co.in the battle to be the first company to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station.

NASA Announces Boeing and Space Crews
Engine flaw delays Boeing test of crew capsule to 2019

The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action.

SpaceX designed its Crew Dragon spacecraft to launch atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation missions".

Crew Dragon is also outfitted with an emergency escape system, which consists of eight SuperDraco engines built into the capsule's walls. If history is any guide, the crews taking the spotlight on Friday will have even more time to train.

In July, the dual engine Centaur for the ULA Atlas V rocket that will launch Starliner in the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test was completed.

If this second test is successful, Boeing will launch Spacecraft 2 along with its first passengers toward the middle of 2019. DM-2, Crew Dragon's first manned demonstration flight, is still now scheduled for December 2018, as reported by the Inquisitr.

The Expedition 56 crew has finished loading Dragon with sensitive research results and station gear for analysis and refurbishment back on Earth. "They're verifying crew layout, doing simulations where they're actually practicing their maneuvers, and also checking out the software and the display systems, and everything else for the crew to be functioning safely in the spacecraft".

Boeing has already identified the problems, and "our team is off fixing those problems", Mulholland said.

Bandits steal Sweden's crown jewels from cathedral before speeding off in motorboat
The stolen crown jewels were reportedly locked behind glass, and the cathedral was open to visitors at the time of the robbery. The crowns and royal orb had originally belonged to Sweden's King Karl IX and Queen Kristina , who ruled from 1604 to 1611 .

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