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

  • Wind projects going ahead in Quebec, public not necessarily on board
  • Strong manufacturing output lifts GDP in October
  • Bombardier, NetJets launch new Challenger 350
  • Canadian manufacturing continued to slide in December, though not in Ontario
  • Toyota celebrating 50 years in Canada with Special Edition Corolla S
  • Pembina to build $350 million diluent hub
  • Air-Breathing battery development increases storage capacity with greater longevity at a fraction of the cost of other batteries.
  • Ontario to update Nuclear Emergency Response Plan in the event of nuclear and radiological events
  • Renault's autonomous float hover car by Yunchen Chai may be the automobile of the future — winner of a design competition from Renault
  • 7 Award winners honoured for championing ontario's environment's zero-waste, low-carbon initiatives
  • Solar Challenge 3,000 kilometer "race" tests solar capabilities and technologies
  • English-French partners show all-electric aircraft at Paris Air Show
  • Robot from Oil & Gas Technology Centre may improve safety, enhance productivity and reduce costs for offshore oil and gas projects
  • Who says bigger isn't better: General Electrics massive carbon-fibre 3D printed engine more fuel efficient
  • NASA says human Mars landing is feasible by 2030s
  • Ontario's manufacturing output "robust" in May: RBC
  • Strong manufacturing helped grow economy in January
  • Wasted mechanical energy could solve world's energy needs
  • Honda to spend $492 million on Alliston plant upgrades
  • Twenty-kilometre tower would revolutionize space launches
Scroll to Top