CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – NASA and SpaceX approved on Friday the first test flight next week of the new commercial Dragon Dragon capsule designed for crew.
Nobody will be on board, just a false instrument in white SpaceX space. But the capsule will still fly to the International Space Station, following its March 2 lift designed by the NASA Kennedy Space Center.
Green light officers gave a security review.
The head of the investigation and human actions by NASA, William Gerstenmaier, is called for the forthcoming test aircraft to be called "a crucial first step" to put astronauts on board.
Much work has been done to ensure that the capsule does not compromise the space station and three occupants as it pulls up and docks, says Gerstenmaier. He will stay in the lab orbiting a little under a week before aiming to implant in the Atlantic off Florida. Monitors and radiation supplies are rising, and science and equipment samples used are coming down.
That's a human lighting space is the company's core mission, says Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of SpaceX, and for now, nothing more important than this effort.
"It's a really big deal for SpaceX," he told reporters.
Space X has been making space space ships since 2012. The private company had to revamp its cargo capsule for astronauts. If the demo that is going to go well, two NASA astronauts could join the flight next test this summer. Officers emphasized that much work was to be done again, with problems possibly being resolved by redesign, before the capsule was competent to transport people.
This would be NASA's first NASA launch of US soil in eight years, since the NASA shuttle program ends. They have riding Russia's rockets to reach and off the space station, paying tens of millions of NASA dollars per seat.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to join at 2:48 a.m. EST on March 2 is brand new. NASA does not want to re-rotate for these crew capsule trips. SpaceX plans to hold a high launch abort in April, re-using this one capsule.
Boeing is also the commercial race to transport a space station astronauter. Its first Starliner demo has been targeted for April, and the second, with astronauts, no earlier than August.