December 15, 2019

After redesigns, the finish line is in sight for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship

December 7, 2019

Five-and-a-half years ago, SpaceX founder Elon Musk revealed SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, a sleek-looking human-rated spaceship with 3D-printed engines, a roomy stylized interior and touchscreen controls. Now SpaceX’s first ship to ferry astronauts — with numerous design changes introduced since 2014 — is about to leave the company’s factory for final testing before launching early next year.

SpaceX fires up Crew Dragon thrusters in key test after April explosion

November 13, 2019

SpaceX test-fired the Crew Dragon spacecraft’s eight SuperDraco abort engines Wednesday at Cape Canaveral, paving the way for a high-altitude rocket escape test and demonstrating engineers have apparently fixed the problem that triggered an explosion during a similar ground firing in April.

Boeing, SpaceX readying for crew capsule abort tests

October 31, 2019

Boeing and SpaceX are readying for launch abort tests in the coming weeks to validate the crew escape systems for the new human-rated Starliner and Crew Dragon spaceships, now scheduled to begin ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station in the first half of next year.

Bridenstine says NASA not holding up commercial crew schedule

October 25, 2019

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said this week the space agency is not unduly delaying the debut of new SpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsules as engineers gear up for a challenging rapid-fire sequence of test flights in the next few months, all against the backdrop of in-depth safety reviews before clearing the privately-owned ships to carry astronauts.

NASA chief says SpaceX properly focused on Crew Dragon

October 10, 2019

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine visited SpaceX’s California rocket factory Thursday, toured the sprawling facility with founder Elon Musk and told reporters he is optimistic the company will be ready to launch the first piloted test flight of its Crew Dragon spaceship in the first quarter of next year.

Hardware arrives in Florida for Crew Dragon in-flight abort test

October 3, 2019

Images taken inside SpaceX facilities at Cape Canaveral and released by NASA Thursday show the Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 booster assigned to an in-flight abort test of the new human-rated spaceship later this year, a prerequisite before astronauts climb aboard for a mission to the International Space Station.

Boeing, SpaceX aim for more commercial crew test flights this fall

August 26, 2019

Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule could take off in October on its first unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station, a company official said recently, while SpaceX finishes up the investigation into the explosion of its Crew Dragon spacecraft during a ground test earlier this year.

SpaceX points to leaky valve as culprit in Crew Dragon test accident

July 15, 2019

Investigators believe a leak of propellant inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft’s propulsion system led to the capsule’s explosion April 20 during a ground test at Cape Canaveral, and a senior SpaceX official said Monday that delays are making it “increasingly difficult” to fly astronauts on the commercial spaceship before the end of the year.

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