NASA Extends SpaceX Demo-2 Flight Readiness Review Through Today

Pablo Tucker
May 23, 2020

SpaceX is planning to launch its first crew to space on May 27.

This Demo-2 mission is planned to be the last major step before NASA's Commercial Crew Program certifies Crew Dragon for operational missions to the International Space Station.

"It was a good review, great discussion", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a press conference.

"So, we are now preparing for a launch in five short days", he added. SpaceX attributed the explosion to a leaky valve, then successfully tested the system this January. NASA has only one crew member now aboard the station.

"That's part of the business plan for SpaceX", Logsdon said, "Is to make this capability available to paying customers, not just to NASA". "Much harder problem than it may seem", he tweeted. "But it was very obvious that he is ready for some human interaction with us".

Jurczyk said Russian and Japanese representatives participated in the meetings via remote links.

To maintain a strong USA presence on the space station, and because of delays in Boeing's and SpaceX's development of their own commercial crew shuttles, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been negotiating with Russia's space agency to take an additional seat on its Soyuz shuttle next year.

The mission passed its Flight Readiness Review, the final major hurdle before lift-off, on Friday. SpaceX has been working feverishly to qualify a new design of the parachute systems that NASA said it is now comfortable with.

"We're really comfortable with it, and we think that those trades have been made appropriately", Behnken said.

Behnken and Hurley have been in quarantine for more than a week, a normal procedure for astronauts going to space. It will bring NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken all the way to the International Space Station now in orbit around Earth.

Now that the flight readiness review and the static-fire test have been checked off the to-do list, the next big event on the agenda is Saturday's "dry dress rehearsal", which will involve going through the launch-day schedule without fueling up and firing the rocket. President Donald Trump has indicated he wants to witness the launch.

Elon Musk's company is gearing up for the Wednesday (May 27) launch of the Demo-2 mission, which will send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

NASA has actually granted agreements worth $3.1 billion ( approximatelyRs 23,552 crores) to Space X as well as $4.9 billion (approximatelyRs 37,228 crores) to Boeing in a quote to offer the United States independent accessibility to space once more. The space agency is paying $90 million to Russia's space agency for a seat on a launch later in 2020.

There have been plenty of setbacks along the way. Commercial Crew is NASA's attempt to develop strong public-private partnerships with companies to help defray the cost of sending people to space from the U.S.

If all of those things line up, NASA will be able to sign off on the Crew Dragon and begin using it for missions to the ISS whenever it pleases.

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