NASA certifies SpaceX Crew Dragon to carry astronauts

NASA certifies SpaceX to fly aboard the Crew Dragon spaceship

Astronauts speak before mission to ISS

SpaceX will also continue to use the uncrewed version of the Dragon spacecraft to make regular deliveries of supplies for the International Space Station as part of a separate contract with NASA. The last craft to be approved by NASA for human spaceflight was the space shuttle almost 40 years ago. On Nov. 14, if all works out as expected, four space explorers will take a Crew Dragon to the ISS and stay on the space station for a half year.

The mission marks a culmination for SpaceX, setting it up to be NASA's favored, and so far most reliable, transportation provider as the agency waits on Boeing's Starliner capsule, which has been held up in testing and is not expected to be ready before next year.

NASA and SpaceX are targeting this Saturday for the historic launch of NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon guided by four parachutes takes off into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon guided by four parachutes takes off into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida

JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi joins the crew as the only foreign personnel and mission specialist. The certification followed a successful test flight of the Space X system, which carried astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the station and returned them to Earth earlier this year. Now, the private spaceflight company has officially been certified by NASA to fly crewed operational missions on a permanent basis. The decision marks the end of 10 years of development and testing funded by NASA's Commercial Crew Program, a trade partnership created to restore the capabilities of U.S. human-astronauts.

In the Orbiting Space Laboratory, the Crew-1 team will join a NASA astronaut Kate Robins, Already on the space station, to conduct extensive scientific research. All of this will allow our crew to safely fly to the International Space Station and come back and then recover, "Kathy Lloyders, who heads NASA's manned space flight program, said in a press briefing on Tuesday".

Previously expected at around 7:49 PM EST on Tuesday, November 10, SpaceX made a decision to push the first fixed fire of Falcon 9 B1061 no later than (NET) on the evening of Wednesday, November 11th.

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The new Crew-1 mission should start on November 14, 2020 at 7:49 am local time (Kiev time - November 15 at 2:49 am) from the Kennedy Space Center.

Keeping with the precedent set by the Demo-2 mission, the rocket's shiny first stage exterior has been adorned with NASA's iconic worm logo.

After the space shuttle program ended, the United States relied on Russian Soyuz rockets launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to deliver astronauts into space.

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Secured to the launch pad, groups stacked the rocket with super-chilled forces - lamp oil and fluid oxygen - and afterward quickly touched off the main stage's nine Merlin 1D motors.

The standard fire test comes in the background of a hardware transfer.

SpaceX is about to launch four astronauts in the first commercial human-ranked spacecraft.

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