Thursday, 21 March, 2019

SpaceX Launches Crew Dragon

ABC News  NASA ABC News NASA
Frank Williams | 06 March, 2019, 13:51

The mission is a test launch and only has a dummy on board the capsule ahead of a manned flight scheduled for later this year.

NASA hopes to test the technology in the summer with human astronauts aboard.

Crew Dragon next fired its thrusters to begin an approach initiation burn, which brought it inside the approach ellipsoid, a 4-by-2-kilometer egg-shaped zone surrounding the station.

The successful demonstration brings the USA one step closer to once again sending people into orbit without relying on Russian space vehicles, which have ferried American astronauts to the International Space Station since NASA retired its shuttles in 2011.

A day after its launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX's uncrewed Crew Dragon spacecraft has successfully docked with the International Space Station, CNN reported on Sunday.

The demonstration mission, called Demo-1, is the first flight test of a space system designed for humans built and operated by a US commercial company through a public-private partnership.

Crew Dragon will dock to the forward port of the space station's Harmony module, which has been fitted with an International Docking Adaptor (IDA). SpaceX launched the dummy and the Earth Celestial Buddies plush toy on Crew Dragon Saturday.

No astronauts have been launched to space from American soil since that final shuttle flight in 2011, with the journey to orbit being handled by Russian Soyuz craft instead.

Samsung reportedly has two more foldable phones coming after the Galaxy Fold
The South Korean company shipped 291.3 million phones past year while Huawei sold 205.8 million, according to Strategy Analytics. The out-folding foldable phone is tipped to launch after the clamshell device, and it's said to exist in prototype form already.

"It's important that we become a spacefaring civilisation and get out there among the stars", Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder, chief executive and lead designer, said.

MARTIN: But if all goes according to plan, Bridenstine says this is the dawn of a new era in human spaceflight.

BRIDENSTINE: Elon Musk made a decision to name the mannequin Ripley after the character in the movie "Alien". They rushed there from Florida after watching the Dragon rocket into orbit early Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

MCCLAIN: On behalf of Ripley, little Earth, myself and our crew, welcome to the Crew Dragon.

Ripley and the capsule are rigged with sensors to measure noise, vibration and stresses and monitor the life-support, propulsion and other critical systems.

"We want to maximise our learning so we can get this stuff ready so that when we put crew on, we're ready to go do a real crew mission, and it'll be the right safety for our crews". Once this is completed, the Dragon could be cleared to undertake a manned flight.

Next up, though, is Boeing, which is looking to launch its Starliner capsule without a crew as early as April and with a crew possibly in August.

"We're going to learn a ton from this mission", said NASA's commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders.

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