Everything You Need To Know About Crew Dragon, NASA's And SpaceX's Historic Manned Mission

Aadhya Khatri - Aug 03, 2020


Everything You Need To Know About Crew Dragon, NASA's And SpaceX's Historic Manned Mission

NASA and SpaceX made history recently when they successfully launched two astronauts to the ISS on board the Crew Dragon

NASA and SpaceX made history recently when they successfully launched two astronauts to the ISS on board the Crew Dragon.

Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken went on a journey to the ISS in a spacecraft built by Elon Musk’s firm.

This marked the very first time a private company successfully sent astronauts to space. Here is everything you need to know about the launch.

What Is The Purpose Of The Crew Dragon Launch?

Crew Dragon SpaceX purpose
The demonstration is to show SpaceX’s capability of sending astronauts to space and come back safely

The mission is called Demo-2 and it is the US’s attempt to send humans to space gain.

As stated by NASA, the demonstration is to show SpaceX’s capability of sending astronauts to space and come back safely.

The Crew Dragon, SpaceX’s astronaut carrier, needed to fulfill this mission to be cleared by NASA’s Commercial Crew Programme for future manned missions.

Crew Dragon Launch Date

NASA and SpaceX’s original plan was to launch on May 27. However, bad weather forced them to delay the event to May 31.

Crew Dragon launch time is 3 PM ET.

Who Are The Astronauts Robert Behnken And Douglas Hurley?

Astronauts Robert Behnken And Douglas Hurley Crew Dragon
53-year-old Doug Hurley and 48-year-old Robert Behnken are veteran NASA astronauts

53-year-old Doug Hurley and 48-year-old Robert Behnken are veteran NASA astronauts who also participated in testing the Crew Dragon capsule.

Hurley used to be a fighter pilot for the US Marine Corps. He was also on board the Atlantis, a space shuttle that was discontinued. As Crew Dragon spacecraft commander, he was responsible for landing and recovery of the vehicle.

Before NASA, Robert Behnken worked as a flight test engineer for the US Air Force. He had 29 days in space and 37 hours of walking time in space. He served as a joint operations commander of the mission and was in charge of rendezvousing, docking, and undocking.

The astronauts didn’t wear the NASA’s traditional space suits but costumes designed by SpaceX and Hollywood designer Jose Fernandez.

How Will The Astronauts Get To The International Space Station?

Falcon 9 crew dragon
Falcon 9 rocket took off from Florida-based Kennedy Space Centre

Falcon 9 rocket took off from Florida-based Kennedy Space Centre, launching Crew Dragon spacecraft into space.

After a success lift-off, the next step in the Crew Dragon plan is for the rocket to separate into the first stage and the second stage.

The first stage returned to a landing ship of SpaceX stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The other part stayed with the Crew Dragon.

When the capsule reached orbit, it separated with the second stage and continued the trip to dock with the ISS.

What Will They Do When They Are In The Space Station?

Crew Dragon astronauts
Their main task was to conduct the validation process to make sure the spacecraft could fly safely to space carrying astronauts onboard

When they reached the International Space Station, the two astronauts tested the controls, display, environmental control system, and maneuvering thrusters of SpaceX Crew Dragon.

As stated by NASA, Hurley and Behnken also monitored the capsule’s autonomous docking system when it approached the ISS.

The two astronauts were Expedition 63 crew’s members and they performed some more tests with the Crew Dragon and the ISS.

However, their main task was to conduct the validation process to make sure the spacecraft could fly safely to space carrying astronauts onboard.

Crew Dragon Return

Crew Dragon return to Earth
On Sunday, August 2, Crew Dragon carrying the two astronauts splashed down into the Gulf of Mexico, concluding the two-month-long historic flight and return from the ISS

On Sunday, August 2, Crew Dragon carrying the two astronauts splashed down into the Gulf of Mexico, concluding the two-month-long historic flight and return from the ISS.

The Crew Dragon plunged back through the Earth’s dense atmosphere before it deployed the parachute and slowed down to touch down on the target landing spot off the coast of Florida.

The mission marked the first time a manned spacecraft successfully carried astronauts to the ISS from US soil after the Space Shuttle Program shot down in 2011.

Why did NASA Stop Sending Astronauts Into Space?

In 2010, the country scaled down its space shuttle program, which had sent humans to space for more than 30 years to focus on creating the needed technology for Moon and Mars missions.

In the meantime, the US paid Russia to send astronauts to space and allowed private companies like Boeing and SpaceX to develop technology to launch manned missions.

What’s next?

The success of Crew Dragon means SpaceX can now move forward with NASA’s other manned missions as part of the 2.6 billion dollar contract with the space agency.

Cst 100 Starliner
NASA also has a similar deal with Boeing, sealed by a contract worth 4.2 billion dollars to send humans to space onboard the CST-100 Starliner

NASA also has a similar deal with Boeing, sealed by a contract worth 4.2 billion dollars to send humans to space onboard the CST-100 Starliner. However, the vehicle is not ready until 2021.

 

>>> SpaceX Historic Achievement: The Crew Dragon 2 Brings Back NASA Astronauts Safely

Comments

Sort by Newest | Popular

Next Story

Read more

OnePlus 8T Roundup: Price, Specifications, Design - Everything We Know So Far

Mobile- Sep 25, 2020

OnePlus 8T Roundup: Price, Specifications, Design - Everything We Know So Far

OnePlus 8T will be launched on October 14. Here is everything we have got about OnePlus' upcoming flagship, including specs, price, design, and more.

POCO X3 Arrives In India: Snapdragon 732G, 6,000mAh Battery, Affordable Price

Mobile- Sep 22, 2020

POCO X3 Arrives In India: Snapdragon 732G, 6,000mAh Battery, Affordable Price

The POCO X3 Indian version doesn't support NFC like the European version, but it has a larger 6,000mAh battery and a more affordable price tag.

How To Set Up Chromecast Device Using Your Android Phone

Gadgets- Sep 24, 2020

How To Set Up Chromecast Device Using Your Android Phone

Have you just bought a Chromecast and are wondering how to set up Chromecast device? Don't worry, we have you covered

New Leaks Say The Pixel 4a 5G Will Sport An 8MP Front-Facing Camera

Mobile- Sep 24, 2020

New Leaks Say The Pixel 4a 5G Will Sport An 8MP Front-Facing Camera

Over the past weeks, several specifications of the upcoming Google Pixel 4a 5G have been leaked all over the internet. What's new this time?

Russia To Supply 1.2 Billion Doses Of Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine

Features- Sep 23, 2020

Russia To Supply 1.2 Billion Doses Of Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine

The Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has been scheduled to be delivered in countries including India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil.

Russia To Offer Free COVID-19 Vaccine To United Nations Staff

Features- Sep 24, 2020

Russia To Offer Free COVID-19 Vaccine To United Nations Staff

During the General Assembly, the Russian president has decided to offer UN staff in New York and around the world free Sputnik-V vaccine.