Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Crew Dragon astronauts might use Tesla Model X to arrive at launchpad for ISS mission

This year will perhaps be the most interesting year in SpaceX history. The private spaceflight company will be launching the first crewed test flight of the crew dragon, the first crewed mission to the ISS, and the first test flight of the Starship prototype.

Elon Musk posted a video on Twitter showing an animation of how the first crewed mission to the ISS may look like. The video starts off with the astronauts getting out of what obviously is a Tesla Model X, and making their way to the launch pad to board the Crew Dragon via the jet bridge. We can tell it’s a Tesla Model X as the video clearly hints at the vehicle’s Falcon Wing doors.

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Falcon Wing doors open for the astronauts to board the Falcon 9. Amazing.

Before the ISS mission occurs, SpaceX has to first conduct a crewed mission to test out the flight abort system. This is a test of how the Super Draco engines attached to the Crew Dragon will fire, launching the spacecraft away from the launch vehicle in case of a mishap. The spacecraft can then launch far away from the booster rocket, and safely parachute down for a splashdown in the ocean. The in-flight abort test is scheduled for January 11, 2020.

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After the success of the flight abort mission, the Crew Dragon will officially take on it’s first ISS mission and carry astronauts to the International Space Station. The astronauts will then dock with the space station, and continue their work there for about six months. After that, the same Crew Dragon will bring the astronauts back to Earth.

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