Trump Congratulates NASA, SpaceX on Successful Dragon 2 Launch to ISS

Mindy Sparks
March 3, 2019

It blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida - the first time in eight years such a launch took place in the US. NASA now pays $82 million per seat.

Boeing also has a contract with NASA for manned space capsules.

Ripley is fitted with a custom SpaceX flight suit and a host of sensors to detect the impact on the inside of the pod. But he stressed there's no rush.

Anne McClain, the American aboard the space station, says she's looking forward to saying hello. "That race is over".

"We want to make sure we keep our partnership with Russian Federation, which has been very strong for a long period of time", explained Bridenstine before the flight.

With permission to enter the Keep Out Sphere (KOS), Dragon approached to within 150 meters of the docking port, where the station's crew will test a retreat command.

"We're only partway through the mission", Musk said.

This includes demonstrating the on-orbit operation of avionics, communications, telemetry, life support, electrical, and propulsion systems, as well as the guidance, navigation, control (GNC) systems aboard both Falcon 9 and Dragon.

Instead of solar wings, solar cells are on the spacecraft itself. He marvels at how the Dragon has just 30 buttons and touch screens, compared with the space shuttle cockpit's 2,000 switches and circuit breakers. About 450 pounds (200 kilograms) of supplies are going up on this flight.

The capsule is created to dock and undock automatically with the space station.

Dragon 2, on the other hand, will not utilize the robotic arm, but rather use the onboard Draco thrusters to dock with the station.

It's big news because this is the first time a commercial interest has launched a spacecraft that was built to carry humans. "That we want the things that are in science fiction novels and movies not to be science fiction forever, we want them to be real one day". This will have its equivalent demo flight in the next couple of months.

A concern over Dragon's docking abort procedures was raised by the Russian space agency Roscosmos, one of NASA's global partners in the ISS program.

"Seeing a success like this definitely gives us a lot of confidence in the future, " Behnken said.

Assuming everything goes well for Demo-1, the first Crew Dragon launch to carry actual humans into space could come as soon as summer 2019.

At the press conference, Musk asked the two NASA astronauts slated to fly in Dragon: "You guys think it's a good vehicle?" Musk jokingly said they better wait a week, until the Dragon returns, before responding.

Although SpaceX has been flying a cargo-based version of the Dragon to the station since 2012, the new Dragon has been entirely remade for crew.

The Falcon rockets are famous for being self-landing and reusable, and once again the boosters managed to land themselves onto a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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