Successful test flight of the SpaceX spacecraft. The Crew Dragon capsule has returned to Earth
The Crew Dragon capsule launched into the Atlantic on Friday after successfully docking to the International Space Station. On board was only a dummy named Ripley and dozens of sensorsoIn checking flight parameters. The success of the test flight paves the way for a manned SpaceX vehicle mission, whichora, perhaps, will take place this summer.
Since the flight program was canceledoin space shuttleoin 2011, U.S. astronauts used Russian Soyuz rockets to get to the International Space Station. This service is not among the cheapest. Each seat on the three-person Soyuz costs about 80 millionoat the dollarow.
To address this, in 2014 NASA signed contracts with commercial partners SpaceX and Boeing – $2.6 billion and $4.2 billion respectivelyow – to support the development of American shipsoin space. Like SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Boeing is building a capsule called the CST-100 Starliner. During the signing of the contract, NASA representatives said they hope to have private spacecraft flying into space by the end of 2017. Obviously, this did not happen. But the two companies are well on their way, despite an opoFails to fulfill the contract.
– Fifty years after humans first landed on the moon, America is on the trail to new space discoveries thanks to the work of our commercial partner – SpaceX company and all the dedicated and talented controlleroin flight NASA – wrote astronaut Anne McClain from aboard the ISS to Flight ControloAt NASA, as Crew Dragon left the space station.
The mission began on March 2. The Falcon 9 rocket carried the Crew Dragon capsule into space with the Ripley mannequin on board and 200 kilograms of supplies for the ISS crew. The demonstration flight was intended to test all the systemsoin capsules to make sure Crew Dragon is ready to flyoin manned.
On March 3, the capsule successfully docked to the ISS and stayed that way for the next five days. On March 8, it separated from the space station and headed back to Earth. The capsule successfully passed its entry into the atmosphere, deployed its parachutes and gently settled in Atlantic waters.
The Crew Dragon or Dragon 2 capsule is quite different from the Dragon capsules used by SpaceX in cargo flights. In addition to the obvious changes, such as the installation of seats and a window, Crew Dragon has a number of advanced systemsoin safety. It primarily has a rescue system, whichory allows to detach the capsule from the carrier rocket and safely wrocialize to Earth. Crew Dragon also docks directly from the ISS, while its older, transportable cousin is first grabbed by the huge robotic arm of the orbiting space station.