ISS astronaut taxi faces ‘MOST DANGEROUS’ test yet on re-entry — SpaceX Dragon

Mindy Sparks
March 8, 2019

The latest images of Earth palling around with the Expedition 58 crew has her doing some station maintenance, keeping up with her schedule and hitting the gym with McClain.

An anthropomorphic test device, or mannequin, in flight suit was on board the spacecraft for the maiden flight. Eastern Friday, fired its engine to slow down and barreled through the thickening atmosphere on its fiery return to Earth.

NASA officials/SpaceX officials confirmed around 2:30 am ET that the capsule successfully detached from the space station.

This adventure marks the first test flight for NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which involves SpaceX and Boeing working to launch astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. Instead, it has paid Russian Federation for rides to the space station at an increasing price tag that now tops $80 million.

In 2014, Nasa awarded Elon Musk's SpaceX and Boeing a combined $6.8bn to build competing spacecraft to carry astronauts into orbit from the United States. Since then, both companies have faced delays and setbacks.

A final abort test is scheduled for June and if that goes well NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley could fly on the first crewed flight of Crew Dragon in July, according to NASA's most recent timeline.

The capsule launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket early Saturday morning.

ISS Crew Member Earth Continues Work Aboard the Station 1
Earth making sure she is on schedule | Image credit NASA Anne McClain

Once aloft, the SpaceX craft traveled to the space station, whizzing around the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour, catching up early the next morning. NASA hoped their spacecrafts would start flying in 2017.

The space station's three-member crew greeted the capsule Sunday morning, with USA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques entering Crew Dragon's cabin to carry out air quality tests and inspections. He found the capsule "very slick" and called it business class.

The spacecraft will need to make a safe descent on Friday.

Musk and his companies have been under scrutiny lately.

Musk, also co-founder of electric auto maker Tesla Inc, will be watching closely. More recently, the SEC claimed he violated the terms of the settlement, which require an attorney to review tweets that could affect Tesla's stock price.

Dr Tucker said: "The most risky part is what we call re-entry". After Musk smoked marijuana during a podcast appearance, NASA announced it was conducting a safety review of SpaceX and Boeing. "Reusable version of their new Angara rocket would be great", Musk wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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