SpaceX Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Nearing First Orbital Test Flight

  • SpaceX Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Nearing First Orbital Test Flight

SpaceX Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Nearing First Orbital Test Flight

In a tweet Saturday, Musk said his company is "about a month away from the first orbital test flight of Crew Dragon". All eyes will be on both companies in 2019 as they inch their way towards their goals, and SpaceX just teased that they're nearly ready to hit a big milestone.

The launch date could possibly be pushed back to February due to the partial government shutdown that has affected NASA. The Crew Dragon 2 launch will hold a rare burden though-the first time a Falcoln 9 rocket and a Crew Dragon 2 spacecraft are launched together in this configuration.

The Crew Dragon's first test flight is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, but it might be delayed because of the ongoing partial government shutdown in the United States.

CST-100 Starliner will also have a crewed test flight this year.

SpaceX's first Crew Dragon and its Falcon 9 rocket stand atop Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canveral, Florida ahead of an uncrewed test flight scheduled for January 2019.

The upcoming uncrewed orbital test flight, called Demo-1, is meant to test the spaceship's capabilities.

The launch of Crew Dragon is a crucial step in NASA's Commercial Crew program.

If all goes well with the uncrewed test, SpaceX will launch its first crewed flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.

The Crew Dragon is the crewed version of SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo ships that have been carrying out resupply missions for NASA since 2012.

It has been eight years since Atlantis was launched on the last space shuttle from the same pad on July 8, 2011. Both SpaceX and Boeing are building spaceships to carry our astronauts to the International Space Station.

SpaceX shared a particularly gorgeous shot of the Falcon 9 against a backdrop of rosy clouds. It would also give the Agency another venue for launching its own astronauts into space as it continues to work on its prototype Space Launch System.