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24 ноября 2018, 00:50

NASA Sets Date For First Uncrewed SpaceX Rocket Launch

Stay on target

NASA’s first test of the unpiloted SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft is targeted for Jan. 7.

The launch, called Demo-1, is scheduled for 11:57 p.m. ET at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

As part of the Commercial Crew Program, this trial marks a milestone in NASA’s quest to once again deliver astronauts to the cosmos—for the first time the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.

The agency will keep a close eye on performance, collecting data from the SpaceX rocket, Crew Dragon, and ground system and docking operations.

“Following the test flights, NASA will review the performance data and resolve issues as necessary to certify the systems for operational missions,” according to a recent blog post.

Assuming all goes well, a second test, Demo-2, will fly astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station in June.

A similar timeline is in place for Boeing: Uncrewed orbital test flight in March, crewed flight test in August.

However, the administration reminds folks that, “as with all human spaceflight development, learning from each test and adjusting as necessary to reduce risk to the crew may override planning dates.”

There’s also that small issue of NASA’s months-long review of Boeing and SpaceX workplace safety culture, expected to begin next year, which could hamper early trials.

Once crewed test flights are successfully completed, NASA will certify the spacecraft and systems for regular missions to the ISS. The agency has contracted six missions (with as many as four astronauts each) per company.

A first operational mission is anticipated for August 2019, followed by a second in December.

A team of nine—seven men and two women—were introduced this summer as the first U.S. astronauts to fly on commercial spacecraft.

More coverage on Geek.com:

Source: https://www.geek.com/news/nasa-sets-date-for-first-uncrewed-spacex-rocket-launch-1762473/?source