NASA has revealed that SpaceX could reuse another Falcon 9 booster and the first Crew Dragon spacecraft scheduled to launch astronauts just after the third SpaceX astronaut launch, scheduled for early 2021.
But first, SpaceX must successfully return two NASA astronauts to Earth in just a few days and launch four more astronauts – three NASA and one Japanese (JAXA) – to the International Space Station (ISS) just 8 weeks later. Astronauts Bob Behnken are currently occupying the ISS as part of the initial staff of the Crew Dragon crew, which has so far been almost flawless. These astronauts are scheduled to board an orbiting spacecraft and depart from the ISS on August 1and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere about a day later on August 2.
It will be the second of the Dragon crew’s orbits, but also the first with astronauts on board. If the Crew Dragon works as designed and the C206 capsule is easily restored, SpaceX and NASA will report to all teams involved, inspect the spacecraft and spacecraft, and hope to certify the spacecraft to launch manned operations staffs.
As mentioned above, the first of these astronaut operations will be known as Crew 1 or Post-Certification Mission 1 (PCM-1) and is currently expected to begin before (NET) in late September. The launch date of Crew-1 is almost entirely conditional on the successful completion of Demo-2 and subsequent Crew Dragon certification by NASA. SpaceX is currently supplying all the rocket and space hardware needed for Crew 1 from the Hawthorne, California plant to launch and process equipment at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
The new Falcon 9 B1061 amplifier completed a set of acceptance tests at McGregor development facilities in SpaceX, Texas, between April and June 2020, and was finally shipped from Texas to Florida on July 11 and arrived on July 14. The new upper stage of the Falcon 9 is probably just behind the booster, and SpaceX will be able to begin integrated processing, culminating in a wet dress test before the ascent (WDR) and static fire a few weeks before launch.
The consumable case and the new Crew Dragon capsule assigned to the Crew-1 crew – considered the C207 capsule – could come to SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) processing facilities today. Before heading to Florida, the spacecraft must undergo numerous acceptance tests, including simulations of hardware start-up in a loop, static fire from all four SuperDraco suppression modules and Draco control beams, from WDR, and more. Upon arrival, SpaceX will inspect each part of the spacecraft, complete all necessary final equipment, load the capsule with monomethylhydrazine oxide (MMH) and dinitrogen oxide (NTO) and install part of the trunk.
If the C206 Demo-2 Crew Dragon capsule is able to safely return astronauts Behnken and Hurley to Earth and return them to dry land in one piece, it could become the first American space capsule in history to launch astronauts into orbit. twice, The same goes for the B1061 Crew-1 Falcon 9 booster: if successfully launched and landed as part of the SpaceX’s space shuttle debut, it will be refurbished to become the world’s first rocket booster to support two launchers as it flies again. . on crew-2.
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