SpaceX has given the green light for Crew Dragon's first voyage into Earth orbit


NASA and SpaceX officials announced Friday that the company was ready to launch Crew Dragon's first orbital launch on March 2, which will directly prevent the first crew launch of an American rocket for more than eight years. years.

Shortly after the news announcement, NASA organized what can only be described as an effusive press conference, during which dedicated officials such as Bill Gerstenmaier and Kathy Lueders discussed the milestone of commercial crew program. Above all, they have not reported any blatant concern and have unequivocally echoed the claim that SpaceX, NASA, Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are all ready and eager to get into orbit. SpaceX is now aiming to launch the space shuttle and its rocket on the Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A launch pad – Thursday, February 28, about 48 hours before the T-0.

In relation to a number of recent NASA press conferences, the atmosphere in the conference room following the NASA-SpaceX joint flight readiness review (FRR) was a welcome relief and excitement, These include a lot of praise and rare personal collisions from Mr. Gerstenmaier (NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations) and Ms. Lueders, NASA's Commercial Crew Program Manager.

"We will launch, we will moor, and we will work through [one minor ISS partner concern] next week. But again, just a phenomenal criticism today … It's great to come back here [and] begins to feel the feeling of launching again and preparing to fly. "- Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA HEOMD, 22/02/19

On January 4th, Crew Dragon and his crewed Falcon 9 were passed vertically on a launch pad (Pad 39A). (SpaceX)

"Now, [we] do not have open and common risks [present on] this mission. That's part of our FRR process, and that's why I could tell Mr. Gerstenmaier … that we [are] ready to fly. " – Kathy Lueders, NASA CCP, 22/02/19

Hans Koenigsmann, Vice President of SpaceX for the reliability of the construction and flight systems, was equally enthusiastic about the completed review, describing his firm belief that, no matter how late he would have caused, the Crew Dragon spacecraft and its Falcon 9 rocket would ultimately be the best they could be. as a result of the incessant exchanges between engineers and analysts from NASA and SpaceX.

In addition to the FRR's encouraging press conference and follow-up, SpaceX and NASA intend to make hosted webcast of Crew Dragon's inaugural launch. something quite spectacular. No details were given, but it would not be surprising if SpaceX's story of exceptional launch Webcast had been combined with President Elon Musk's equal affinity for spectacular events. According to Koenigsmann, Crew Dragon will be equipped with a manikin (an aerospace crash-test manikin) wearing one of SpaceX's internal space suits, a globally recognizable icon thanks to the popularity of the Falcon Heavy launch and of his special charge. .

"The only work between now and the launch is what we consider a standard job and [the] standard closure of upcoming activities. This shows that we are ready to fly this DM-1 flight next Saturday. "Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA HEOMD, 22/02/19

The spacecraft will apparently also be almost identical to the DM-2's Crew Dragon, the first vehicle that will fly with astronauts on board. As such, it will likely be equipped with everything a crew of astronauts would need, including seating, a functioning control panel, lighting, and the overall layout and finish of an interior. ready to support a human presence for several days. Live images of Starmannequin and Crew Dragon windows will be waiting for you, among other unique perspectives. SpaceX will also offer a rare webcast hosted on the arrival and docking of Crew Dragon at the International Space Station, scheduled approximately 24 hours after launch, an event that could potentially include exceptionally rare feeds from Dragon's embedded cameras.

Anyway, it's an event not to be missed. If all goes well in the February 27 Launch Preparation Study (LRR) and the subsequent deployment of Falcon 9 on Pad 39A, SpaceX will attempt its first launch with Crew Dragon at 2:49 am EST (07:49 UTC) on March 2nd.

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