The U.S. military’s rescue units have supported NASA for six decades but now for the first time astronauts are flying in commercial capsules.
The successful return of human orbital spaceflight to the United States generated bipartisan praise, but it’s unclear if that support will translate into funding required to enable other NASA human spaceflight ambitions.
The astronauts who will fly the first Crew Dragon mission say they understand and accept the risks of a new spacecraft, which they believe can’t be boiled down to a single number.
As NASA and SpaceX complete final preparations for the first crewed flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, the agency is already looking ahead to the spacecraft’s next mission.
On the eve of the first crewed orbital flight from the United States in nearly nine years, both the current NASA administrator and his predecessor agreed that credit for the ultimate success of the commercial crew program should be shared.
To get a new, state-of-the-art crewed spacecraft ready to carry astronauts, SpaceX and NASA had to overcome problems with a technology long thought to be understood.
NASA has given SpaceX approval to proceed with final preparations for the first commercial crew mission with astronauts on board, although there is still work to complete ahead of the planned May 27 launch.
Preparations for the launch of a SpaceX commercial crew test flight with two NASA astronauts on board are continuing despite the unexpected departure of the head of the agency’s overall human spaceflight program.
The unit known as Detachment 3 is responsible to rescue astronauts if they have to abort the mission.
NASA and SpaceX are in the final phases of preparations for a commercial crew test flight that will carry two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station for an extended stay.