General

SpaceX first launched a manned spacecraft Crew Dragon to the ISS

What has been waiting for many years and whatwas postponed during repeated transfers: the launch of Crew Dragon from SpaceX took place. Just literally from the launch site of the LC-39A Space Center named. Kennedy in Florida (the Apollos and space shuttles took off from there) took off the Falcon 9 rocket with an SpX-DM1 mission. Together with her, the manned spacecraft Crew Dragon (Dragon 2) with Ripley's dummy (the main heroine of the “Alien” series) went to space and headed for the International Space Station.

The live broadcast of the launch was conducted on NASA and SpaceX channels.

Crew Dragon went to the ISS

At 2:49 am (ET) - 10:49 MSK - Crew Dragon soared into the sky and turned in orbit just 11 minutes later. Then SpaceX landed its Falcon 9 rocket on one of the barges in the Atlantic - for the company this was the 35th successful launch. The capsule, which is currently in Earth orbit, will try to dock with the International Space Station tomorrow morning. This is a dress rehearsal for the delivery of astronauts to the orbital laboratory, which will take place one day.

Crew Dragon - an important part of the NASA programdevelopment of private manned spacecraft, which revolves around the development of a private spacecraft to send people to the International Space Station and back. As part of this program, two companies, SpaceX and Boeing, are developing their own capsules that can deliver NASA astronauts to space and then return them to Earth. But before these capsules can carry people, NASA wants to see the transport in action.

And SpaceX’s Crew Dragon for the first time! pic.twitter.com/2ze0wSmLbb

- Loren Grush (@lorengrush) March 2, 2019

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Main engine cutoff and stage separation confirmed. Second stage engine burn underway pic.twitter.com/TY5CT14g7g

- SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 2, 2019

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Ripley pic.twitter.com/Z9Ztram8Ai

- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 1, 2019

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Specifically, this time there were no living passengers. But a clever mannequin named Ripley - equipped with sensors and dressed in a SpaceX special suit - was monitoring the situation. Sitting on one of the four passenger seats, Ripley collects data on how the flight can affect the human body. The live broadcast of SpaceX also gave an idea of ​​the state of Ripley during the launch. In addition, a small toy in the shape of the Earth was placed inside the vehicle, which floated in the air when Crew Dragon was in microgravity.

When on Sunday morning Crew Dragon with Ripley onthe board will meet with the ISS, the capsule will maneuver in the direction of the station and will try to join the free port. This dock was installed specifically for SpaceX and Boeing. Using a series of lasers and software, Crew Dragon identifies the docking adapter and joins it independently, without the help of astronauts aboard the station.

Crew Dragon predecessor - Dragon capsule -uses a different approach. By delivering materials to the ISS, the cargo version approaches, rather than docks. The crew member aboard the ISS uses a robotic station manipulator to capture the cargo capsule and deliver it to the port. Crew Dragon will be completely independent.

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