SpaceX, NASA Ready First Commercial Taxi Trip to Space Station

Pablo Tucker
November 15, 2020

That event also discussed another issue tangentially related to the launch: comments by SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk on Twitter early November 13 where he said he had received conflicting test results, both positive and negative, for COVID-19.

The Crew Dragon capsule, named "Resilience" by its crew, is due to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:49 p.m. ET on Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying three USA astronauts - Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker - and one from Japan, Soichi Noguchi.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he spoke to Musk two days before he tweeted about his test results during a Friday press briefing and explained that NASA's policy for employees who test positive for COVID-19 is to "quarantine and self-isolate". He went on to question the rate of false positives for PCR tests - seeming to predict his own skepticism if and when the PCR test result comes back positive.

Elon Musk talks 'bogus' COVID-19 test ahead of SpaceX launch

Norm Knight, a deputy manager at NASA, said the guidelines are rigid for restricting access to astronauts before flight in order to keep them safe and healthy. It was unclear if Musk has recently been at the center, and agency officials said the Crew-1 astronauts have been in quarantine and not in contact with Musk.

They will be replaced in the spring by yet another crew launched by SpaceX. The 15-minute rapid tests are less sensitive than the lab tests, which taken longer to process. "Either bringing astronauts to the space station or bringing the resupplied cargo".

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began its commercial crew program in 2010 to field a replacement for the shuttle.

Three months ago, when Behnken and Hurley splashed down south of Pensacola, Florida, recreational boaters approached the spacecraft. To do that, SpaceX will land the booster on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean and then return it back to land.

SpaceX has delayed its second astronaut flight by a day because of high wind and weather conditions in Cape Canaveral, Florida that could jeopardize the recovery and recycling of the rocket booster.

The space agency is looking to save big by no longer having to buy seats on Russian Soyuz capsules for US astronauts.

Those recovery operations refer to SpaceX's plan to recover the first stage of the Crew-1 mission's Falcon 9 rocket so that it can be reused on a subsequent mission.

That Crew-2 mission, SpaceX's next astronaut flight for NASA, is now targeted for a March 30 launch, so ensuring its booster returns to Earth safely is key. The last ticket, used by a Nasa astronaut launched from Kazakhstan in October, cost US$90 million (NZ$131 million).

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