Tech & Science: Elon Musk says SpaceX Crew Dragon could be almost ready by Christmas - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & Science Elon Musk says SpaceX Crew Dragon could be almost ready by Christmas

19:21  09 october  2019
19:21  09 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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See SpaceX's new spacesuits on the first astronauts to wear them Crew Dragon might not fly until next year, but NASA astronauts are getting comfy in new SpaceX duds.

According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk , its Crew Dragon spacecraft could be nearly ready to carry its first astronauts from Florida to the An actual launch of a Crew Dragon with astronauts aboard has not yet been scheduled, but Musk has said the craft could be ready to fly human crew in early 2020.

Related: SpaceX Dragon Crew Demo-1 Test Flight: Full Coverage. In fact, Crew Dragon 's launch debut appears to be a stunning success. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (right) and NASA chief Jim Bridenstine celebrate the successful first launch of a Crew Dragon spacecraft at NASA's Kennedy

a close up of a train: The SpaceX Crew Dragon will head to the ISS on its first test flight. NASA © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The SpaceX Crew Dragon will head to the ISS on its first test flight. NASA

NASA could receive a nice holiday present at Cape Canaveral in just a few months.

According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, its Crew Dragon spacecraft could be nearly ready to carry its first astronauts from Florida to the International Space Station by the end of the year.

"The SpaceX schedule, which I've just reviewed in depth, shows Falcon & Dragon at the Cape & all testing done in (about) 10 weeks," Musk wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Related slideshow: Coolest images of SpaceX missions (Provided by Photo Services)

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30, Elon Musk , CEO of SpaceX , told CNN that the Crew Dragon would be ready to carry Crew Dragon is SpaceX 's answer to a problem that began after NASA retired its space shuttle program Starship is something else entirely: a vehicle that, if it works as intended could serve Musk 's stated

A key safety test of SpaceX 's Crew Dragon astronaut taxi could occur as early as next month, Elon Musk said . The IFA is a critical milestone on Crew Dragon 's path to crewed flight, which both SpaceX and NASA want to happen soon. SpaceX holds a .6 billion NASA contract to ferry

Musk went on to add that an uncrewed launch to test Crew Dragon's in-flight abort system should happen in late November or early December. An actual launch of a Crew Dragon with astronauts aboard has not yet been scheduled, but Musk has said the craft could be ready to fly human crew in early 2020.

The update was in response to a post by Ars Technica's Eric Berger, who wrote:

"Source says 'full panic has ensued' as NASA realizes commercial crew may not be ready in first half of 2020; and (former NASA head of human exploration and operations Bill) Gerstenmeier is no longer around to help the companies along, or negotiate with Russians for more Soyuz seats. Focus on Artemis may put ISS program in real danger."

  Elon Musk says SpaceX Crew Dragon could be almost ready by Christmas © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

NASA didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about Musk's and Berger's claims.

NASA's commercial crew program aims to return human spaceflight to US shores via contracts with SpaceX and Boeing to launch astronauts to the ISS via new spacecraft. But the effort has been fraught with drama as testing and completion of both spaceships fell behind schedule and a Crew Dragon exploded during an uncrewed ground test.

Then, in September, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine publicly prodded Musk on Twitter during the build-up to the big SpaceX Starship presentation at Boca Chica, Texas. Musk then fired back with a jab about NASA's chronically late Space Launch System rocket.

NASA, Boeing and SpaceX had all originally hoped to get commercial crew launches going in 2019. It now seems that 2020 is far more likely and NASA will be eager to make sure the new vehicles are ready to go next year. That's because NASA's agreement with the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos to transport astronauts between Earth and orbit is down to its last launch, currently scheduled for March.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon will head to the ISS on its first test flight. © CNET

The SpaceX Crew Dragon will head to the ISS on its first test flight.

NASA and Elon Musk make up over astronaut-flying spat .
Musk and NASA chief Jim Bridenstine got on the same page about returning human spaceflight to the US.The US government has not flown humans into orbit since 2011, when the space shuttle was retired, and in 2014 it hired SpaceX and Boeing to build and operate replacement vehicles that will ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

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