Dragon v2 (SpX-DM2) – Falcon 9 (B1058.1) – Kennedy LC-39A – 27.05.2020, 20:32 UTC

Автор zandr, 11.02.2020 23:04:30

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А будет ли разница в оплате если в полетят по уже заключенному контракту с фиксированной суммой, с плавающим количеством пусков.


ЦитироватьMarch 31, 2020

NASA, SpaceX Simulate Upcoming Crew Mission with Astronauts

On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the company's Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, executed a full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (front) participating in SpaceX's flight simulator.
Credits: SpaceX

Joint teams from NASA and SpaceX continue making progress on the first flight test with astronauts to the International Space Station by completing a series of mission simulations from launch to landing. The mission, known as Demo-2, is a close mirror of the company's uncrewed flight test to station in March 2019, but this time with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the company's Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, executed a full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley participating in SpaceX's flight simulator.
Credits: SpaceX

Over the last several months, key members of flight control teams working from NASA's Johnson and Kennedy Space Centers and SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, simulated different phases of the upcoming mission while the Demo-2 astronaut crew practiced procedures from inside a realistic simulator of Crew Dragon.

"The simulations were a great opportunity to practice procedures and to coordinate decision-making for the mission management team, especially with respect to weather," said Michael Hess, manager of Operations Integration for CCP. "Simulation supervisors do a great job at picking cases that really make the team think and discuss."

Recent simulations saw teams execute timelines from hatch closure to undocking with the space station — as well as a free flight in preparation for re-entry and splashdown. In March, the control teams and crew ran through a simulated mission starting at prelaunch and continuing through ascent and eventual rendezvous with the station.

This recent sim makes the excitement all the more tangible, especially for the greater NASA team.

"What's happening in commercial crew is a big deal," Hess said. "It will be the first time to launch astronauts from U.S. soil since the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011, and it will be the first time since STS-1 that we will launch astronauts in a new spacecraft. This new spacecraft, Crew Dragon, was designed and built by SpaceX, not by NASA and traditional contractor partnerships — another first. Bob (Behnken) and Doug (Hurley) will definitely be earning their spacecraft test pilot wings with this mission. Also, the Space Station Program is really looking forward to another way to rotate crews to station to perform science and experiments to benefit all."

As the countdown clock winds down, Crew Dragon is undergoing final testing and prelaunch processing in a SpaceX facility on nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. All the activity is also kicking off "more simulations, final crew training and flight readiness reviews to ensure all of the mission systems and subsystems are ready for a crewed test flight," Hess noted.

When Crew Dragon launches atop a Falcon 9 rocket with Behnken and Hurley strapped inside as early as mid-to-late May, it will herald a new era for human spaceflight, enabling greater access to low-Earth orbit and destinations beyond with the help of commercial partners.

The Demo-2 crew is proceeding with its scheduled training activities. Astronaut trainers, along with all NASA employees, are closely adhering to CDC recommendations on infection control for the coronavirus. As all NASA centers are currently operating in a mode that requires any non-mission-essential work to be done remotely, the number of employees in contact with the crew is limited.

Last Updated: March 31, 2020
Editor: Danielle Sempsrott


ЦитироватьApril 2, 2020

The Worm is Back!

Sitings of the NASA logotype (the "worm"), fr om left: Astronaut Mae Jemison preparing for launch; astronaut Bruce McCandless on an untethered spacewalk; the Hubbe Space Telescope; astronaut Guy Bluford; and astronaut Sally Ride.
Credits: NASA

The original NASA insignia is one of the most powerful symbols in the world. A bold, patriotic red chevron wing piercing a blue sphere, representing a planet, with white stars, and an orbiting spacecraft. Today, we know it as "the meatball." However, with 1970's technology, it was a difficult icon to reproduce, print, and many people considered it a complicated metaphor in what was considered, then, a modern aerospace era.

Enter a cleaner, sleeker design born of the Federal Design Improvement Program and officially introduced in 1975. It featured a simple, red unique type style of the word NASA. The world knew it as "the worm." Created by Richard Danne, the logo was honored in 1984 by President Reagan for its simplistic, yet innovative design.

NASA was able to thrive with multiple graphic designs. There was a place for both the meatball and the worm. However, in 1992, the 1970s brand was retired - except on clothing and other souvenir items - in favor of the original late 1950s graphic.

Until today.

The worm is back. And just in time to mark the return of human spaceflight on American rockets from American soil.

The retro, modern design of the agency's logo will help capture the excitement of a new, modern era of human spaceflight on the side of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle that will ferry astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the Demo-2 flight, now scheduled for mid- to late May.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts aboard, on the company's second demonstration flight and first crewed flight to the International Space Station.
Credits: SpaceX

And there's a good chance you'll see the logo featured in other official ways on this mission and in the future. The agency is still assessing how and wh ere it will be used, exactly.

It seems the worm logo wasn't really retired. It was just resting up for the next chapter of space exploration.

And don't worry, the meatball will remain NASA's primary symbol.

Last Updated: April 2, 2020
Editor: Brian Dunbar



ЦитироватьCrew training continues for SpaceX's first launch with astronauts
April 3, 2020 | Stephen Clark

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley inside the Crew Dragon spaceship they will ride into orbit as soon as mid-to-late May. Credit: SpaceX

During a visit to Cape Canaveral this week, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken strapped in to the SpaceX crew capsule they will ride into orbit as soon as mid-to-late May. Next week, the astronauts will be in Houston to continue training for an extended stay on the International Space Station that could last two-to-three months.

The two-man team is continuing with their training amid the coronavirus pandemic. Their launch remains scheduled for mid-to-late May, although the schedule could slip amid uncertainties about future impacts fr om the virus, upcoming parachute testing and an investigation into an engine failure on the most recent SpaceX launch.

Hurley and Behnken were at Cape Canaveral this week, where they crawled inside the Crew Dragon spaceship they will fly into space later this year on the Demo-2 mission, SpaceX's first mission to carry astronauts.

The event, known as a Crew Equipment Interface Test, or CEIT, allowed the astronauts to get hands-on experience with the hardware they will use during their flight to the space station. Pictures released by NASA showed Hurley and Behnken strapped into their seats inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which is being readied for launch in a clean room processing facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

NASA said the CEIT also "included flight suit leak checks, spacecraft sound verification, display panel and cargo bin inspections, seat hardware rotations, and more."

Brandi Dean, a NASA spokesperson at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, said Hurley and Behnken also participated in launch pad egress training this week.

Next week, the Demo-2 crew's jam-packed training schedule continues in Houston, wh ere Hurley and Behnken will participate in space station systems training. Their training next week will also include resizing of spacesuits they would use if they needed to perform a spacewalk outside the space station, Dean said.

There is also an integrated launch simulation planned with the Demo-2 crew next week, Dean told Spaceflight Now.

Hurley and Behnken are shuttling between Florida, Texas and California during their busy training schedule.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule for the Demo-2 mission arrived at Cape Canaveral for pre-launch processing in February. Credit: SpaceX

Citing NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, CNBC reported Friday that preparations for the Demo-2 mission remain on track for launch in mid-to-late May. Bridenstine told CNBC that NASA and SpaceX feel "pretty confident" the launch will occur with a major delay.

"We're working through the coronavirus pandemic," Bridenstine told CNBC. "We don't know what the outcome is going to be ... But if it gets delayed a little bit, we're going to be OK with that."

Pandemic aside, Bridenstine said NASA and SpaceX are working to close out several issues before the Demo-2 launch.
He told CNBC he feels "really good" about the progress of SpaceX's testing of the Crew Dragon's main parachutes. The latest parachute design, named the Mark 3, had completed 24 tests to certify the chutes before a test anomaly March 24 that officials have attributed to the test rig, and not the parachutes themselves.

"The test requires a helicopter to lift the device suspended underneath it to reach the needed test parameters," NASA said in a 26 statement. "However, the pilot proactively dropped the device in an abundance of caution to protect the test crew as the test device became unstable underneath the helicopter. At the time of the release, the testing device was not armed, and a test of the parachute design was not performed."

Bridenstine told CNBC said SpaceX plans to perform two more parachute tests using a fixed-wing C-130 cargo plane, rather than a helicopter.

SpaceX is also wrapping up testing of the Crew Dragon's launch escape system. The company accomplished a  successful in-flight escape test in January after a Falcon 9 launch from the Kennedy Space Center.

Ground testing of the Crew Dragon's modified escape system, which would use eight powerful SuperDraco rockets to push the capsule away from a failing launch vehicle, is nearing completion at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, according to Bridenstine.

And NASA has joined an investigation into an engine failure on SpaceX's most recent launch March 18, when one of the nine Merlin 1D engines on the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket shut down prematurely. The rocket was able to compensate for the early engine shutdown and still delivered 60 more SpaceX Starlink Internet satellites to orbit.
The engine failure occurred on a reused Falcon 9 first stage that was flying for the fifth time. Bridenstine told CNBC he does not expect the engine issue to be a showstopper, and noted that the Demo-2 launch will utilize a brand new Falcon 9 booster.

Bridenstine told CNBC that NASA expects Hurley and Behnken to remain aboard the space station for two-to-three months, depending on when the Demo-2 mission takes off. The test flight was originally scheduled to last a matter of days or weeks, but NASA is keen on extending the mission to give the space station additional manpower during a period when the complex will be staffed with just three crew members, down from the typical six-person crew.

If the Demo-2 mission takes off in May, Hurley and Behnken could return to Earth later in the summer. The first in a series of Crew Dragon missions to ferry operational crews to the space station could blast off as soon as late July with a four-person team of astronauts.

Space station operations are continuing with little impact from the coronavirus pandemic. NASA's space station control center in Houston is fully staffed, and NASA has said preparations for upcoming crew and cargo missions are receiving high priority, even as some other agency projects experience work stoppages and delays due to restrictions associated with the pandemic.

Dean said NASA is still assessing possible impacts to the Demo-2 crew training schedule if the agency's human spaceflight centers in Texas and Florida are elevated to Stage 4 of NASA's coronavirus response framework. Johnson and Kennedy are currently at Stage 3, restricting access to the centers only to "mission-essential" personnel, which include workers needed to support spaceflight hardware, astronaut training and mission operations.

Under the restrictions of a Stage 4 response, NASA says all personnel would be required to telework except those necessary to "protect life and critical infrastructure." However, NASA has already confirmed there will be some carveouts to that policy to permit space station flight controllers to come to work, and to allow continued preparations for the launch of the Perseverance Mars rover in July.

"Center and agency leadership will provide guidance on specific activities if Kennedy or Johnson goes to Stage 4, including a mission-essential activities list," Dean said. "Decisions on that list are not yet final, so as to allow leadership maximum flexibility to respond to this rapidly evolving situation."

NASA astronaut Doug Hurley performs inspections inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft on March 30. Credit: SpaceX

NASA says it is following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Astronaut trainers, along with all NASA employees, are closely adhering to CDC recommendations on infection control for the coronavirus," NASA said. "As all NASA centers are currently operating in a mode that requires any non-mission-essential work to be done remotely, the number of employees in contact with the crew is limited."

On March 19 and 20, Hurley and Behnken joined SpaceX and NASA flight controllers to simulate activities they will execute from the Falcon 9 countdown through the Crew Dragon's launch and docking with the space station.

The astronauts participated inside a SpaceX flight simulator, while SpaceX controllers joined the simulation from a launch control center at the Kennedy Space Center and the Dragon operations facility at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. NASA teams responsible for the operations of the space station participated from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"The simulations were a great opportunity to practice procedures and to coordinate decision-making for the mission management team, especially with respect to weather," said Michael Hess, manager of operations integration for NASA's commercial crew program. "Simulation supervisors do a great job at picking cases that really make the team think and discuss."

The astronauts also completed simulations running from hatch closure through unlocking with the space station, and practiced procedures they will execute during the free flight phase of the mission in preparation for re-entry and splashdown.

Hurley, who piloted two space shuttle missions, will command the Demo-2 test flight. Behnken is a veteran spacewalker who also flew on two shuttle missions.


Цитировать Spaceflight Now‏ @SpaceflightNow 5 мин. назад

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley & Bob Behnken put on their SpaceX spacesuits & rode a Tesla Model X to pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in January for a launch day dress rehearsal.

The practice run occurred before launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon abort test. https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/04/03/video-astronauts-participate-in-crew-dragon-launch-day-dress-rehearsal/ ...

https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1246534425644589058/pu/vid/1286x720/wrGtyevy9dOIR8mQ.mp4 (0:50)



Тест системы экстренной эвакуации с площадки LC-39A в Космическом центре им. Кеннеди 

3 апреля SpaceX провели тесты специальных аварийно-спасательных корзин для астронавтов и средств пожаротушения стартовой площадки 39A во Флориде, демонстрируя спасательные системы, которые будут активированы в случае чрезвычайной ситуации до старта миссии Demo-2.

На видео можно увидеть корзины для аварийного покидания башни обслуживания, скользящие по натянутым тросам на западной стороне площадки 39А. Корзины могут использоваться астронавтами и наземными командами для возможности быстро покинуть стартовую площадку в случае аварии перед стартом.

Корзины ранее использовались в программе Space Shuttle и были модифицированы. Каждая может быстро унести трёх человека от стартового стола к бронированному транспортному средству, названному MRAP, припаркованном на западной стороне площадки на безопасном расстоянии.

План спасения аналогичен тому, который использовался во время полётов космического челнока, но корзины были модифицированы и размещены на 21 метр выше на башне обслуживания, чем ранее.

Специальная команда, которая поможет астронавтам забраться в корабль Crew Dragon - насчитывает около восьми-десяти человек. Она сопроводит астронавтов на площадку после выхода их из автомобиля Tesla Model X, который доставит экипаж на площадку, после чего они вместе зайдут в лифт и отправятся к кораблю Crew Dragon.

Экипаж будет размещён в корабле до того, как SpaceX начнёт заправку. SpaceX начнёт заполнять ракету топливом за 35 минут до старта. Наземная команда покинет площадку прежде чем начнется заправка ракеты. В случае возникновения чрезвычайной ситуации после заправки, двигатели SuperDraco могут отвести корабль от ракеты и стартовой площадки на безопасное расстояние, затем выйдут парашюты и корабль выполнит посадку на воду.

По словам NASA, экипаж Crew Dragon может покинуть космический корабль менее чем за 90 секунд в случае необходимости. Затем нужно перейти на другую сторону башни, сесть в корзины, спустится и сесть в защищённый транспортёр. Вся процедура "побега" для экипажа займет около трёх с половиной минут.

По словам SpaceX, побег с использованием двигателей SuperDraco от Crew Dragon займет меньше секунды. Тем не менее, по соображениям безопасности, двигатели не могут включиться, пока не начнется заправка ракеты.

Отметим, что это заключительные испытания систем спасения площадки перед миссией. До старта остаётся меньше двух месяцев 


Цитировать Spaceflight Now‏ @SpaceflightNow 2 ч. назад

In January, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley & Bob Behnken rehearsed the steps they will take boarding SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule at the Kennedy Space Center.  Hurley & Behnken are training for launch as soon as next month on the first piloted Dragon flight.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/04/03/video-astronauts-participate-in-crew-dragon-launch-day-dress-rehearsal/ ...

https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1247315209758351360/pu/vid/1282x720/_AdiC4s2724w5FlW.mp4 (1:13)


К #27

Цитировать NASA Commercial Crew‏ @Commercial_Crew 4 ч. назад

On April 3, @NASA and @SpaceX conducted an emergency egress exercise at Launch Complex 39A at @NASAKennedy.

This demonstration was completed to ensure the crew & support teams can quickly evacuate from the launch pad in the unlikely event of an emergency: https://go.nasa.gov/2XfGRPM 

https://video.twimg.com/amplify_video/1247549194132508672/vid/1280x720/mSGC6TEY_xd-4CJI.mp4 (1:27)


ЦитироватьNASA, SpaceX Team Up for Emergency Egress Exercise

Anna Heiney
Posted Apr 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm⁠

On Friday, April 3, 2020, NASA and SpaceX completed an end-to-end demonstration of the teams' ability to safely evacuate crew members from the Fixed Service Structure during an emergency situation at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: SpaceX

Safety is a top priority as NASA and SpaceX prepare for liftoff of the company's second demonstration flight test (Demo-2), the first flight to carry astronauts to the International Space Station onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The teams conducted an emergency egress exercise at Launch Complex 39A at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 3. The end-to-end demonstration is the latest in a series of similar exercises to ensure the crew and support teams can quickly evacuate from the launch pad in the unlikely event of an emergency prior to liftoff.

Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX personnel, including the Kennedy pad rescue team, participated in the exercise. The primary objective was to demonstrate the teams' ability to safely evacuate crew members from the launch pad during an emergency situation. Teams rehearsed locating injured personnel on the 265-foot-level of the launch tower, loading them into the pad's slidewire baskets and safely descending the tower, then successfully loading the injured participants into Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles staged at the pad perimeter.

Scheduled for launch no earlier than May 2020, Demo-2 will be the first launch of NASA astronauts from American soil to the International Space Station since the space shuttle era. It also is the final flight test for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft system to be certified for regular flights to the station with crew onboard.


Цитировать Jim Bridenstine‏ @JimBridenstine 1 ч. назад

We're bringing back the worm, but the @NASA meatball isn't going anywhere. Check out how the @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will look when we launch @AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug to the @Space_Station.
More: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/the-worm-is-back ...


ЦитироватьBridenstine says Crew Dragon could launch with astronauts at end of May
April 13, 2020 | Stephen Clark

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speaks at a bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues event in September 2019. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says he is "fairly confident" that astronauts can fly to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship at the end of May or early June, pending final parachute tests, data reviews and a training schedule that can escape major impacts fr om the coronavirus pandemic.

An investigation into an engine failure on the most recent launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket — the same design that will launch the Crew Dragon astronauts — is also expected to be completed in short order, Bridenstine said.

"I think we're really good shape," Bridenstine said in an interview Thursday. "I'm fairly confident that we can launch at the end of May. If we do slip, it'll probably be into June. It won't be much."

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are training for the Crew Dragon test flight, which will be the first mission to launch astronauts into Earth orbit fr om U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle in July 2011. The astronauts will take off from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center and dock with the space station a day or two later.

Hurley and Behnken are expected to live and work aboard the space station for two or three months, then return to Earth for a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean east of Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX and Boeing won multibillion-dollar NASA commercial crew contracts to develop human-rated spaceships in 2014, following several years of preliminary development and testing. SpaceX is ahead of Boeing, and the crew capsule for the upcoming test flight — designated Demo-2 — is currently at Cape Canaveral undergoing pre-launch processing and testing.

NASA is paying SpaceX more than $3.1 billion for the Crew Dragon development program, plus six operational crew rotation flights to the space station following the Demo-2 mission.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner capsule will give NASA a U.S.-built ship to ferry crews to and from the station, ending the space agency's reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft for crew transportation.

Hurley and Behnken continue preparing for the Demo-2 mission despite the coronavirus pandemic, which is affecting other government and industry sectors. Personnel working on some NASA missions are working remotely, but Bridenstine said the agency's Commercial Crew Program and the Mars Perseverance rover remain top priorities, and physical preparations continue for launches in the coming months.
While the Crew Dragon's first piloted test flight is set for launch from the Kennedy Space Center around the end of May, the Perseverance rover is scheduled for liftoff on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket during a planetary launch period that opens July 17.

As of late last week, no personnel working on NASA's Commercial Crew Program had tested positive for the coronavirus, Bridenstine said.

"Number one, the people that are working on commercial crew right now are practicing social distancing and (wearing) personal protective equipment," Bridenstine said. "We've moved and changed shifts so that fewer people are in the room when you have to have multiple people in the same room. So we've done a lot of those things to make sure that you're as safe as possible working on these missions.

"We've also said, if people don't feel safe, they don't have to work on the mission," he told Spaceflight Now in an interview. "I've been very clear with all of the agency leaders that nobody should feel pressure to do work if they don't feel safe. And as leaders, we need to make sure that if somebody does bring up the fact that they don't feel safe, we need to give them some other work to do, wh ere they do feel safe, and then make adjustments."

NASA has drawn up contingency plans if a commercial crew worker tests positive. In that event, the agency plans to use contact tracing to determine who was in close proximity to the infected employee.

"If there is a positive case on commercial crew, depending on wh ere it is and how the person is doing the work, it may or may not impact the mission," Bridenstine said. "If it's somebody who is largely teleworking, it might not impact the mission at all. If it's somebody who is very rare contact with other people, on the mission, then we might have to do some tracing.

"What we're trying to do is we're trying to mitigate the fact that if there is a case, that we can quickly identify the people that that person was in contact with, and do the tracing and get all the people that were that were involved off the mission and replace them with other people.

"If there's an outbreak, yeah, it will affect the date. But we're doing everything we can to minimize that eventuality," Bridenstine said.

A Crew Dragon parachute drop test conducted in December 2019 with a mass simulator. Credit: SpaceX

Other work remaining before the Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch involves final testing of the capsule's parachutes and technical reviews of the readiness of the ship's launch abort system, Bridenstine said.

During SpaceX's most recent parachute test last month, the test rig was dropped from a helicopter prematurely after the craft became unstable over a test site in Nevada. NASA officials said the parachutes were not to blame for the botched test, and the helicopter pilot decided to release the test rig for safety reasons.

"It got unstable," Bridenstine said. "The pilot dropped the test article, which was basically just a weight simulator. Nothing from that was recoverable, including the parachutes that were on-board. So we've got two more parachute tests, and now they're going to be done out of the C-130 (cargo plane) instead of from a helicopter. We've got agreement from the chief engineer and the program manager, and the astronaut office, that those two parachute tests that we have remaining are good to go out of the C-130."

The first of the two remaining parachute tests was expected to occur as soon as Easter weekend. During that drop test, SpaceX intended to rig the craft to only deploy one of its two drogue parachutes, then unfurl just three of the Dragon's four main chutes. The test would allow engineers to assess the performance of the parachute system in the event of a double failure.

"After that, we'll be doing another full test with two drogue chutes and four main chutes," Bridenstine said. "And once we're complete with those two tests, we'll be confident in the parachute system. I think we're pretty much confident in the parachute system right now. We just want to get more data."

NASA is also evaluating data from testing on the Crew Dragon's modified launch abort propulsion system, which would be activated to push a crew capsule away from a failing rocket, either on the launch pad or in flight.

A faulty valve inside the high-pressure propulsion system caused nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer to leak into the abort system's helium pressurization plumbing before a ground test-firing of the abort engines last April. When SpaceX tried to test-fire the SuperDraco abort engines on a test stand at Cape Canaveral, the nitrogen tetroxide was pushed back into the titanium valve, causing an explosion that destroyed the spacecraft.

"We're replacing all of that titanium with with another metal that isn't going to be as combustible," he said. "That's taken a little bit of time, but we're moving along very rapidly on that at this point, and we've done all the testing out at White Sands (in New Mexico) on that. I feel very confident that that's that's going to be OK."

The design changes in the abort system were successfully tested during a high-altitude launch abort demonstration in January, when SpaceX activated the SuperDraco engines on a Crew Dragon capsule more than a minute after launch on a Falcon 9 rocket.

NASA is also reviewing the failure of a Merlin engine on SpaceX's most recent Falcon 9 launch last month. One of the Falcon 9 first stage's nine Merlin engines shut down prematurely, but the rocket was able to overcome the engine problem and deliver the mission's 60 Starlink satellite payloads into their planned orbit.

"We've been doing some root cause on what caused that engine to fail ... and what I've been told is that they've got a really good understanding of what that failure was, and it's not going to impact our commercial crew launch," Bridenstine said.

The reusable Falcon 9 booster on the most recent launch was flying for the fifth time. SpaceX is launching the Demo-2 mission on a brand new Falcon 9 rocket.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken (background) participate in a two-day flight simulation in March 2019. The astronauts are inside a SpaceX flight simulator in this photo. Credit: SpaceX

Assuming the Demo-2 launch remains on track for late May, NASA and SpaceX will convene a series of data reviews in the coming weeks, culminating in a flight readiness review next month.

Once the Crew Dragon is connected with its Falcon 9 launcher, SpaceX will roll the rocket to pad 39A for a test-firing of its Merlin main engines. Ground teams and the Demo-2 astronauts will also complete final rehearsals and training before the launch.

Hurley, the Crew Dragon's vehicle commander, will strap in to the left seat inside the spaceship. Behnken, the mission's pilot, will sit in the right seat during launch.

The two-man crew will ride the Crew Dragon capsule on a trajectory northeast from Cape Canaveral over the Atlantic Ocean. After entering orbit around 10 minutes later, the Crew Dragon will perform a series of pre-planned demonstration maneuvers under the guidance of the astronauts and ground controllers at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

The Crew Dragon will approach the space station for an automated docking within a day or two of launch, and Hurley and Behnken will open hatches to enter the station to join commander Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.

The arrival of the Crew Dragon will raise the station's crew size from three to five for several months.

"Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will go up as not just demonstration pilots for Demo-2, but they would actually become crew on-board the International Space Station for a period of months to do work, and they would continue to operate on the ISS," Bridenstine said. "And then when we're ready with the next Crew Dragon, they'll come home.

"We will do a full evaluation of the Demo-2 Crew Dragon, so we'll be on Earth for about a month with the Demo-2 Crew Dragon just doing inspections and evaluations and making sure that it's safe, and then when we make sure that it operated how we expected it to operate, we'll be ready to launch right into crewed missions for normal operations."

The Demo-2 mission was originally scheduled to last a couple of weeks, but NASA is extending the flight's duration to give the space station additional crew members.

The station is typically staffed with a six-person crew, and that will increase to seven people once SpaceX and Boeing spaceships are regularly flying to the orbiting research lab.

But the commercial crew capsules are running years behind schedule, and NASA's current contract with Roscosmos — the Russian space agency — to purchase Soyuz seats for U.S. astronauts expires this year. That will leave the station with a crew of three until the Crew Dragon arrives.

Cassidy, who launched April 9, is the final NASA astronaut with a confirmed ride to and from the station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He is scheduled to return to Earth in October.

NASA is negotiating with Roscosmos at least one additional Soyuz seat on the next Russian crew launch in October. Bridenstine said Thursday those negotiations are continuing.

Bridenstine said the second piloted Crew Dragon mission — and the first operational crew rotation flight to use the SpaceX capsule — could launch in August or September, assuming the Demo-2 mission takes off in late May or early June.

Meanwhile, NASA's other commercial crew contractor may not launch astronauts until 2021.

Boeing said earlier this month that its Starliner crew capsule will launch on a second unpiloted test flight later this year. The Starliner's first space mission, called the Orbital Flight Test, encountered major problems after launch, preventing the ship from docking from the space station as planned.

The Crew Dragon completed a successful unpiloted flight to and from the space station in March 2019.


Цитировать Jim Bridenstine‏ @JimBridenstine 23 мин. назад

BREAKING: On May 27, @NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil! With our @SpaceX partners, @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken will launch to the @Space_Station on the #CrewDragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Let's #LaunchAmerica

https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1251172547586134018/pu/vid/1280x720/IBMhsF89fPSX6BXf.mp4 (0:44)



Цитировать William Harwood‏ @cbs_spacenews 21 мин. назад

F9/DM-2: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine makes it official: launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying two astronauts on the Demo 2 test flight to the International Space Station is now officially targeted for May 27; liftoff expected at 4:32pm EDT; docking 5/28


Цитировать Chris G - NSF‏ @ChrisG_NSF 1 ч. назад

The first crew launch for #SpaceX on May 27th would result in a single-second, instantaneous launch time of ~16:30 EDT (20:30 UTC)!!!! @Commercial_Crew #Falcon9 #CrewDragon (Credit: GoISSWatch App)


Цитировать Stephen Clark‏ @StephenClark1 11 мин. назад

Assuming a launch at 4:32pm EDT on May 27, Demo-2 will dock with the space station around 11:29am EDT on May 28.


ЦитироватьLaunch Date Set for First Crew Flight from U.S. Soil Since 2011

Anna Heiney
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at 12:36 pm⁠

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft undergoes final processing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in preparation for the Demo-2 launch with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Crew Dragon will carry Behnken and Hurley atop a Falcon 9 rocket, returning crew launches to the space station from U.S. soil for the first time since the Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011. Photo credit: SpaceX

A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:32 p.m. EDT on May 27, from Launch Complex 39A in Florida, for an extended stay at the space station for the Demo-2 mission. The specific duration of the mission is to be determined.

As the final flight test for SpaceX, this mission will validate the company's crew transportation system, including the launch pad, rocket, spacecraft, and operational capabilities. This also will be the first time NASA astronauts will test the spacecraft systems in orbit.

The Demo-2 mission will be the final major step before NASA's Commercial Crew Program certifies Crew Dragon for operational, long-duration missions to the space station. This certification and regular operation of Crew Dragon will enable NASA to continue the important research and technology investigations taking place onboard the station, which benefits people on Earth and lays the groundwork for future exploration of the Moon and Mars with the agency's Artemis program.

To learn more about the Demo-2 mission and crew, read the full story at https://www.nasa.gov/specials/dm2.


ЦитироватьAPRIL 17, 2020


SpaceX and NASA are targeting May 27 for Falcon 9's launch of Crew Dragon's second demonstration mission (Demo-2) from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the first two NASA astronauts to fly onboard the Dragon spacecraft as part of the Demo-2 mission to and from the International Space Station, which will return human spaceflight to the United States since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.


The Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Crew Dragon spacecraft that will support Demo-2 are onsite at SpaceX's facilities in Florida. To mark the return of human spaceflight on American rockets from American soil, NASA has revived their worm logo for Demo-2.

In preparation for Demo-2, SpaceX has completed a number of major milestones for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. In March 2019, SpaceX completed an end-to-end test flight of Crew Dragon without NASA astronauts onboard, making Dragon the first American spacecraft to autonomously dock with the International Space Station and safely return to Earth.

In January 2020, SpaceX demonstrated Crew Dragon's in-flight launch escape capability to reliably carry crew to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency on the launch pad or at any point during ascent. SpaceX has completed over 700 tests of the spacecraft's SuperDraco engines, which fired together at full throttle can power Dragon 0.5 miles away from Falcon 9 in 7.5 seconds, accelerating the vehicle more than 400 mph.

SpaceX has completed 26 tests of Crew Dragon's enhanced Mark 3 parachute design, which will provide a safe landing back on Earth for astronauts returning from the Space Station. These tests include 13 successful single parachute drop tests, 12 successful multi-parachute tests, and a successful demonstration of the upgraded parachute system during Crew Dragon's in-flight abort test

Additionally, SpaceX and NASA have jointly executed a series of mission simulations from launch and docking to departure and landing, an end-to-end demonstration of pad rescue operations, and a fully integrated test of critical crew flight hardware on the Demo-2 Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley participating in their Demo-2 spacesuits.

Demo-2 is the final major milestone for SpaceX's human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station. Once Demo-2 is complete, and the SpaceX and NASA teams have reviewed all the data for certification, NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi have been assigned to fly on Dragon's first six-month operational mission (Crew-1) targeted for later this year.

SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built, and NASA's Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America's future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.