SpaceX has launched the missile to launch its first Dragon spacecraft built for astronauts on an unsuspecting test flight next month.
The Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the new spacecraft called the Crew Dragon, lit their nine engines for the first time on Thursday (January 24th) while standing on top of the historic Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
"The static fire test has been completed – aiming to launch the launch of the historic Launch Complex 39A for the first Crew Dragon demonstration flight!" Representatives of SpaceX said in an update in Twitter. [Take a Walk Through SpaceX’s Crew Dragon]
SpaceX is targeting the start of February for the debut of the Crew Dragon but has not officially announced the launch date. The Spaceflight Now report, which mentions the unnamed managers of SpaceX and NASA, said the mission could fly no sooner than February 23rd. the need for additional hardware checks.
While Demo-1 will be the first spaceX crew spacecraft test by the SpaceX crew, the company will ship robotic Dragon ships to the International Space Station from 2012 to deliver supplies to NASA. The new Crew Dragon includes life support systems, starter system, solar panels embedded in the capsule service module and other improvements over its predecessor.
Elon Musk, CEO and founder of SpaceX, said in a Twitter post that the first crew dragon to wear astronauts can start this summer if everything goes well with the upcoming test flight. SpaceX also plans to perform a flight disruption test before a crew flight.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2019
NASA has awarded SpaceX $ 2.6 billion in contract to build Dragon version (which SpaceX calls Dragon 2) in 2014. Boeing received a separate NASA contract for $ 4.2 billion to develop its crew CST-100 Starliner, to fly astronauts to NASA. The two companies are expected to release their first flights with a crew later this year.