Successful SpaceX human flight transport launch test of Dragon crew capsule, Elon Musk elated but “emotionally exhausted”

Shortly after the successful test launch of the first commercial crewed flight transport capsule from Space X, the company’s CEO Elon Musk said, it was “super stressful, but it worked.”

 

Launch of the Dragon crew capsule. The first test was not actually manned by live humans — in their place is Ripley, the dummy. The test launch — and return next week — will validate safety for an actual human crew.

 

Although a dummy named Ripley manned the launch — after the movie protagonist from Alien’s — the test was the first step to validate safety and capability, including docking and return safely. Launched from Cape Canaveral — where NASA’s historic launches originated — the test flight is more than just symbolic.

 

 

“It’s a really big deal for SpaceX,” said Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice president, at a press event before the launch.

Although SpaceX has made many successful “cargo” flights to the space station, this is the first test of its Dragon crew capsule, a key platform for human-crewed flight. Assuming the full test and return is successful, it is possible actual human crews will fly out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, in summer of 2019. Before that, SpaceX plans an “abort” safety test in April.

 

Crowds waited hours to view the historic launch from Florida.

 

The goal remains to send an actual crew up sometime in 2019. Carrying 400 pounds of supplies, and one dummy, with measuring sensors on her body, the capsule will reach the International Space Station today, after a short 27-hour journey. [1] Five days later, on Friday, March 8, it will return to earth and land in the Atlantic.

Watch the successful launch replay:

A Big moment for the U.S. Space Program

After retiring the successful Space Shuttle Program, NASA relied on Russian spacecraft to take its astronauts into space. NASA commissioned Space X and Boeing to develop new launch platforms and capsules for manned flight, in part to reduce reliance on Russia — and the cost of $61 million per astronaut.

 

Space X rendering of the docking of Dragon capsule.

 

Space X is somewhat ahead of Boeing in testing, with Boeing’s Starliner scheduled to fly a test in April 2019. Plans to return to the Moon and ultimately go to Mars, relly on viable domestic operated spacecraft.

 

Space X image of a capsule ready for flight.

 

NOTES
[1] Sunday, March 3, 2019

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Pratt & Whitney Canada to invest $1 billion in engine development
  • Breaking news: Kinder Morgan to cancel its Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline project
  • Toyota investment in Ontario brings new technologies, keeps jobs
  • Contractors, steel workers unions support Northern Gateway pipeline
  • Carbon neutral concrete? They're working on it.
  • Who says bigger isn't better: General Electrics massive carbon-fibre 3D printed engine more fuel efficient
  • Bombardier to hit business jet targets: aiming for US$8.5 billion annually by 2020
  • Five companies to provide power storage for Ontario
  • Oil & Gas Report: Iran sanctions not priced into Brent "room for a runup in prices towards the end of the year"
  • Solar power poised for worldwide growth
  • Bid deadline today for Canada's new search and rescue aircraft
  • UPS Canada implementing 50 per cent alternative fuels in fleet by 2018
  • Interstellar Mission to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Moon Landing
  • Japan setting records for new solar power installations
  • Drilling rigs growth depends more and more on LNG
  • New wind farm approved near Lake Huron shore
  • TransCanada submits new, more costly proposal for Energy East pipeline
  • Canada adopts ISO 20022 international electronic payment standard
  • Auto Industry Expected to Meet 2025 Standards
  • Little support in auto industry for Canada/Korea free trade deal
Scroll to Top