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Forum:Commercial Space - Military Space
Topic:SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-1 mission
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Robert PearlmanNASA today released a new targeted launch date:
The agency now is targeting March 2 for launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon on its uncrewed Demo-1 test flight.
Robert PearlmanNASA release
NASA to Provide Coverage of SpaceX Commercial Crew Flight Test

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the SpaceX Demo-1 flight test to the International Space Station for the agency's Commercial Crew Program, which is working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil for the first time since 2011.

NASA and SpaceX are targeting 2:48 a.m. EST Saturday, March 2, for the launch of the company's uncrewed Demo-1 flight, which will be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft designed for humans will launch to the space station. The launch, as well as other activities leading up to the launch, will air on NASA Television and the agency's website.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space station at approximately 5:55 a.m. Sunday, March 3.

This will be the first uncrewed flight test of NASA's Commercial Crew Program and will provide data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking and landing operations.

The flight test also will provide valuable data toward NASA certifying SpaceX's crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX's Demo-2 test flight, which will fly NASA astronauts to the space station, is targeted to launch in July.

Following each flight, NASA will review performance data to ensure each upcoming mission is as safe as possible. After completion of all test flights, NASA will continue its review of the systems and flight data for certification ahead of the start of regular crewed flights to the space station.

Full Demo-1 coverage is as follows. All times are EST:

    Friday, Feb. 22

  • (no earlier than) 6 p.m. – Post-flight readiness review briefing

    Thursday, Feb. 28

  • TBD – Pre-launch briefing

    Saturday, March 2

  • 2 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 2:48 a.m. liftoff
  • 5 a.m. – Post-launch news conference

    Sunday, March 3

  • 3:30 a.m. – Rendezvous and docking coverage
  • 8:45 a.m. – Hatch opening coverage
  • 10:30 a.m. – Station crew welcoming ceremony

    Friday, March 8

  • 12:15 a.m. – Hatch closing coverage begins
  • 2:30 a.m. – Undocking coverage begins
  • 7:30 a.m. – Deorbit and landing coverage
  • TBD – Post-landing briefing on NASA TV
Robert PearlmanNASA release
Demo-1 Flight Readiness Concludes

Following a full day of briefings and discussion, NASA and SpaceX are proceeding with plans to conduct the first uncrewed test flight of the Crew Dragon on a mission to the International Space Station.

Launch is scheduled for 2:48 a.m. EST Saturday, March 2 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be the first time a commercially built and operated American rocket and spacecraft designed for humans will launch to the space station.

While the review was ongoing, crew members on station utilized a computer-based trainer and reviewed procedures to refresh themselves with the Crew Dragon spacecraft systems, rendezvous and docking, ingress operations, changes to emergency responses, and vehicle departure. Demo-1 is the first uncrewed flight to the space station for the Crew Dragon.

Robert PearlmancollectSPACE
NASA gives 'go' for SpaceX Crew Dragon to fly test flight to space station

NASA has given its "go" for the launch of the first crew-capable SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to fly to the International Space Station.

SpaceX's Demonstration Mission 1 (DM-1) is set to fly a Crew Dragon on a six-day test flight to and from the space station. The uncrewed mission is scheduled to lift off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 2 at 2:49 a.m. EST (0749 GMT) and dock to the orbiting outpost the next day.

Robert PearlmanSpaceX release
Crew Demo-1 Mission Overview

SpaceX is targeting Saturday, March 2 for launch of Crew Dragon's first demonstration mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This test flight without crew on board the spacecraft is intended to demonstrate SpaceX's capabilities to safely and reliably fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The instantaneous launch window opens at 2:49 a.m. EST, or 7:49 UTC, and a backup instantaneous launch opportunity is available on Tuesday, March 5 at 1:38 a.m. EST, or 6:38 UTC. Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Crew Dragon, designed from the beginning to be one of the safest human space vehicles ever built, benefits from the flight heritage of the current iteration of Dragon, which restored the United States' capability to deliver and return significant amounts of cargo to and from the International Space Station. Dragon has completed 16 missions to and from the orbiting laboratory.

To support human spaceflight, Crew Dragon features an environmental control and life support system, which provides a comfortable and safe environment for crew members. The spacecraft is equipped with a highly reliable launch escape system capable of carrying crew to safety at any point during ascent or in the unlikely event of an anomaly on the pad. While the crew can take manual control of the spacecraft if necessary, Crew Dragon missions will autonomously dock and undock with the International Space Station. After undocking from the space station and reentering Earth's atmosphere, Crew Dragon will use an enhanced parachute system to splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

On this first test flight, Crew Dragon will transport roughly 400 pounds of crew supplies and equipment to the International Space Station. In addition, the spacecraft will be carrying mass simulators and an anthropomorphic test device (ATD) that is fitted with sensors around the head, neck, and spine to gather data ahead of SpaceX's second demonstration mission with NASA astronauts on board the spacecraft.

Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon will launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, which has a long and storied history dating back to the 1960s. In 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease for use of LC-39A. Since then, SpaceX has made significant upgrades to modernize the pad's structures and ground systems, while also preserving its important heritage. Extensive modifications have been made to LC-39A, including removal of the existing rotating service structure and installation of a new access arm from which crew will board the spacecraft.

Mission Timeline (all times approximate)

  • -45:00 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load
  • -37:00 Dragon launch escape system is armed
  • -35:00 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins
  • -35:00 1st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
  • -16:00 2nd stage LOX loading begins
  • -07:00 Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
  • -05:00 Dragon transitions to internal power
  • -01:00 Flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks
  • -01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
  • -00:45 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
  • -00:03 Engine controller commands ignition sequence to start
  • -00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff

  • +00:58 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress)
  • +02:35 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
  • +02:38 1st and 2nd stages separate
  • +02:42 2nd stage engine starts
  • +07:48 1st stage entry burn
  • +08:59 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
  • +09:24 1st stage landing burn
  • +09:52 1st stage landing
  • +11:00 Dragon separates from 2nd stage
ISS Docking

Crew Dragon will perform a series of phasing maneuvers to gradually approach and autonomously dock with the International Space Station on Sunday, March 3 at approximately 6:00 a.m. EST. Filled with about 400 pounds of crew supplies and equipment, Dragon will remain docked with space station for five days.

Return Flight

Crew Dragon will autonomously undock with the International Space Station on Friday, March 8 at approximately 2:30 a.m. EST. About five hours after Dragon departs the space station, it will conduct its deorbit burn, which lasts approximately 15 minutes. Dragon will reenter Earth's atmosphere and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean about 35 to 40 minutes later, or at approximately 8:45 a.m. EST.

Robert PearlmancollectSPACE
SpaceX launches Crew Dragon on demo mission to space station

For the first time, a U.S.-built commercial spacecraft capable of carrying astronauts is now on its way to the International Space Station.

SpaceX on Saturday (March 2) launched its first Crew Dragon on a uncrewed test flight to demonstrate its ability to safely fly to and from the space station, prior to doing the same with NASA astronauts on board. The Demo-1 (DM-1) Dragon lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 2:49 a.m. EST (0749 GMT) from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Robert PearlmancollectSPACE
SpaceX Crew Dragon docks to space station on first demo mission

SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spacecraft has successfully docked at the International Space Station.

The commercially-developed, uncrewed space capsule arrived at the orbiting lab on Sunday (March 3), completing a one-day rendezvous in Earth orbit since launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. The docking marked a significant milestone in the Crew Dragon's Demo-1 (DM-1) mission, which is aimed at demonstrating to NASA that the vehicle is ready to begin flying with astronauts aboard.

Robert PearlmancollectSPACE
SpaceX's Demo-1 Crew Dragon splashes down from space station

SpaceX's first Crew Dragon is back on Earth, having advanced the day when astronauts will next launch to space from the United States and becoming the first spacecraft to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean in 50 years.

The commercial space capsule landed from the International Space Station on Friday (March 8), bringing to an end SpaceX's Demo-1 (DM-1) mission. The 6-day, uncrewed test flight was flown to show NASA that the Crew Dragon could safely rendezvous, dock, undock and return from the orbiting outpost, prior to it doing the same with astronauts on board later this year.

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