June 1, 2020

Photos: Astronauts train to ride a Dragon into space


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Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, two veteran space shuttle fliers, are gearing up to fly a privately-developed SpaceX Dragon capsule into orbit this year.

The two astronauts participated in several major training events in March, including long-duration simulations to rehearse procedures they will execute during launch on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, their docking with the International Space Station, and then departure from the orbiting lab for return to Earth.

SpaceX and NASA engineers joined the astronauts in the simulations, rehearsing their roles at control centers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and NASA’s space station control center in Houston.

The Crew Dragon’s first piloted mission, known as Demo-2, will mark the first time a vehicle carrying astronauts into orbit has launched from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.

Read our full story for details on the recent training milestones. The photos below chronicle training events in March, including images of Hurley and Behnken wearing their SpaceX-built spacesuits.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken (background) participate in a two-day flight simulation. The astronauts are inside a SpaceX flight simulator in this photo. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken (background) participate in a two-day flight simulation. The astronauts are inside a SpaceX flight simulator in this photo. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken (background) participate in a two-day flight simulation. The astronauts are inside a SpaceX flight simulator in this photo. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken (background) participate in a two-day flight simulation. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley participates in a Dragon simulation that spanned two days March 19 and 20. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley participates in a Dragon simulation that spanned two days March 19 and 20. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronaut Bob Behnken participates in a Dragon simulation that spanned two days March 19 and 20. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley (background) participates in a Dragon simulation that spanned two days March 19 and 20. Crewmate Bob Behnken is visible in the foreground. Credit: SpaceX
Doug Hurley’s spacesuit name tag. Credit: SpaceX
Bob Behnken’s spacesuit name tag. Credit: SpaceX
A SpaceX flight controller in Hawthorne, California, participates in a Crew Dragon simulation that spanned March 19 and 20. Credit: SpaceX
A SpaceX flight controller in Hawthorne, California, participates in a Crew Dragon simulation that spanned March 19 and 20. Credit: SpaceX
Astronauts Doug Hurley (standing) and Bob Behnken review data in Hawthorne, California, participates in a Crew Dragon simulation that spanned March 19 and 20. Credit: SpaceX
A SpaceX launch controller inside Firing Room 4 at the Launch Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: SpaceX
A view inside SpaceX’s Dragon control center in Hawthorne, California, during a Demo-2 mission simulation. Credit: SpaceX
Flight controllers participate in a Demo-2 mission simulation on March 19 and 20. Credit: SpaceX
In this March 30 photo, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are pictured inside the Crew Dragon spaceship they will ride into orbit as soon as mid-to-late May. Credit: SpaceX
During a Crew Equipment Interface Test on March 30, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley strapped into their seats inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft at a processing facility located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Credit: SpaceX
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley performs inspections inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft on March 30. Credit: SpaceX
A view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft that will fly on the Demo-2 mission. The ship’s touch-screen control panel is visible. Credit: SpaceX
A view of the few buttons on the Crew Dragon control panel. Many of the push buttons would be used during in-flight emergencies. Credit: SpaceX

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


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