A NASA official said Friday that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft could be ready to ferry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station as soon as early March, pending the results from a major demonstration of the ship’s launch abort system Saturday, a pair of parachute drop tests, and space station crew schedules.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule concluded a 30-day stay at the International Space Station Tuesday with an automated departure from the orbiting research outpost at 5:05 a.m. EST (1005 GMT) Tuesday. The Dragon’s release from the robotic arm set the stage for a scorching re-entry and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles at around 10:41 a.m. EST (1541 GMT).
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket is set to carry Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule into space on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station. This timeline shows the major mission events planned from liftoff through Starliner’s orbital insertion burn about 31 minutes after launch.
The 81st flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, set for liftoff Friday from Cape Canaveral, will come with its share of firsts when it sends Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule toward the International Space Station on an unpiloted test flight. The launcher will fly without a payload shroud, which typically envelopes satellites during liftoff, and it will debut an uprated dual-engine Centaur upper stage that will power the Starliner on a unique suborbital trajectory optimized for astronaut comfort.