Autor Wątek: [SpaceNews] NASA delays SpaceX commercial crew test flight to February  (Przeczytany 3637 razy)

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Ready to make history on SpaceX's Crew Dragon, NASA astronauts touch down at KSC
Emre Kelly Florida Today Published 7:01 PM EDT May 20, 2020

A NASA business jet descended into Kennedy Space Center airspace Wednesday, its touchdown signaling the kickoff of a packed schedule for its astronaut passengers.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, both spaceflight veterans, landed at KSC's former shuttle runway just before 4 p.m., eventually greeted by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and KSC Director Bob Cabana. The flight was organized in such a way to keep them safely distanced from others during the coronavirus pandemic.

But unlike the Gulfstream III that flew them from Houston to the Space Coast, their next ride looks like something out of science fiction: SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, which will host humans for the first time when it launches from pad 39A on May 27. The mission to the International Space Station, known as Demo-2, is targeting 4:33 p.m. for liftoff.

"Both Doug and I are really excited to be here," Behnken, an Air Force colonel and former shuttle astronaut, said after landing. "As graduates of military test pilot schools, if you gave us one thing we could have put on our list of dream jobs we could have had some day, it would have been to be aboard a new spacecraft."

The mission to launch astronauts from U.S. soil is nearly a decade in the making. The capability disappeared with the space shuttle program's last flight in July 2011, forcing NASA to buy seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft until its investments in commercial companies came through. First up to the plate is SpaceX, but Boeing and its Starliner capsule were also selected as part of the program.

"It's just an amazing vehicle, but it's definitely not the space shuttle in many ways. It's much smaller, but it's a capsule. It's state-of-the-art from a technology standpoint," Hurley, a retired Marine Corps colonel who flew on the last space shuttle mission, said of Crew Dragon. "We are so excited to be in a real spaceship and not the simulator here in just a week."

Until launch next week, the duo will continue their training and rehearsals. They'll conduct fit tests with SpaceX's spacesuits; ride out to the pad in Tesla Model X SUVs just like on launch day; and spend time in the Crew Dragon capsule now at pad 39A. All the while, they'll follow stringent quarantine procedures and regularly get tested for COVID-19 before their flight to the ISS.

Sometime this week, their families – also observing strict quarantine – will arrive to join them. They'll likely spend time in the famous "Astronaut Beach House," a spot where astronauts from Gemini to Apollo to space shuttle would gather to socialize and work.

"Maybe we'll get a chance to go and visit that facility and maybe start a tradition or two out there with our families as a part of the new era that we're embarking on," Behnken said.

On Thursday, the critical flight readiness review will take place – if all is "go," that gives teams permission to proceed with operations until the launch readiness review, which is tentatively slated for Monday.

This weekend, the Space Force is expected to release a weather forecast for the instantaneous launch window, meaning that Falcon 9 has to launch at exactly 4:33 p.m. or push to the backup date of May 30.


Source: https://eu.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2020/05/20/nasa-astronauts-arrive-ksc-ready-make-history-spacex-crew-dragon/5215723002/

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Odp: [SFN] Photos: Crew Dragon mated with Falcon 9 rocket
« Odpowiedź #46 dnia: Maj 21, 2020, 23:00 »
Photos: Crew Dragon mated with Falcon 9 rocket
May 21, 2020 Stephen Clark


The Crew Dragon’s body-mounted solar panels are visible in this picture. Credit: SpaceX

Crew Dragon, meet Falcon 9.

SpaceX has released photos showing the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket that will carry NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken aloft next week.

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Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/21/photos-crew-dragon-mated-with-falcon-9-rocket/

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Odp: [SFN] Photos: Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon roll out to pad 39A
« Odpowiedź #47 dnia: Maj 21, 2020, 23:00 »
Photos: Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon roll out to pad 39A
May 21, 2020 Stephen Clark

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft emerged from the company’s hangar at the Kennedy Space Center early Thursday for the quarter-mile trip up the ramp to historic Launch Complex 39A, ready for final testing before liftoff on the first U.S. mission to carry astronauts into orbit in nearly nine years.

These photos show the 215-foot (65-meter) rocket rolling out of the SpaceX hangar, which the company built over the Apollo- and space shuttle-era crawlerway between pad 39A and NASA’s iconic Vehicle Assembly Building. The 54,000-square-foot (5,000-square-meter) hangar accommodates multiple Falcon rocket cores at one time.

Riding a strongback transporter system, the Falcon 9 climbed the incline to the pad surface early Thursday after departing the hangar shortly after 12 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT).

By around 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 GMT) Thursday, the rocket was on the pad deck. SpaceX engaged the hydraulic system to raise the Falcon 9 vertical around 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), and the crew access arm swung into position next to the Crew Dragon spacecraft a few minutes later.

SpaceX is readying the rocket for a test-firing of its nine Merlin 1D main engines as soon as Friday afternoon.

Liftoff is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) next Wednesday, May 27, with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on-board.





















Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls


Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/21/photos-falcon-9-and-crew-dragon-roll-out-to-pad-39a/

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NASA’s chief of human spaceflight resigns on cusp of critical crew launch
May 19, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]


Doug Loverro, NASA’s former chief of human spaceflight, participates in a town hall meeting with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Dec. 3, 2019. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The head of NASA’s human spaceflight programs has abruptly resigned, announcing his departure from the space agency two days before before he was to chair a crucial readiness review ahead of the launch of the first crewed U.S. space mission in nearly a decade.

Doug Loverro joined NASA in December after decades managing military space programs, and his tenure at NASA lasted just six months. He replaced Bill Gerstenmaier, who was removed from his post by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine last July in a shakeup of the space agency’s human spaceflight efforts.

In a statement Tuesday, NASA said Loverro resigned from the agency effective Monday. NASA did not specify a reason for Loverro’s departure, which happened eight days before the first launch of U.S. astronauts from the Kennedy Space Center in nearly nine years.

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Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/19/nasas-chief-of-human-spaceflight-resigns-on-cusp-of-critical-crew-launch/

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Odp: [SN] NASA human spaceflight head Loverro leaves agency
« Odpowiedź #49 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:51 »
NASA human spaceflight head Loverro leaves agency
by Jeff Foust — May 19, 2020  [SN]
Updated 8:15 p.m. Eastern with comments from Rep. Horn.


NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (left) and Doug Loverro, associate administrator for human exploration and operations, during an interview in December, shortly after Loverro started at the agency. Loverro resigned May 18 after less than six months on the job. Credit: Lisa Nipp for SpaceNews

WASHINGTON — Doug Loverro, the NASA official responsible for human spaceflight programs, left the agency May 18 after less than six months on the job.

In a May 19 statement, NASA said that Loverro resigned from his position as associate administrator for human exploration and operations effective May 18. Ken Bowersox, Loverro’s deputy, will serve as acting associate administrator. A NASA spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about the reasons for Loverro’s resignation, but industry sources say that Loverro and Bridenstine disagreed over aspects of the exploration program.

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Source: https://spacenews.com/nasa-human-spaceflight-head-loverro-leaves-agency/
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 24, 2020, 06:51 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Commercial crew launch preparations continue despite leadership shakeup
by Jeff Foust — May 21, 2020 [SN]
Updated 7 p.m. Eastern with new time for post-Flight Readiness Review briefing.


NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley discuss the upcoming Demo-2 commercial crew test flight after arriving at the Kennedy Space Center May 20. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

WASHINGTON — 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.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived at the Kennedy Space Center May 20 ahead of their launch on the Demo-2 mission, also called DM-2, currently scheduled for May 27. They will carry out some final preflight checks of the Crew Dragon vehicle and other systems in the coming days.

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Source: https://spacenews.com/commercial-crew-launch-preparations-continue-despite-leadership-shakeup/

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SpaceX Demo-2 commercial crew mission passes flight readiness review
by Jeff Foust — May 22, 2020 [SN]


SpaceX conducted May 22 a static-fire test of the Falcon 9 that will launch the Demo-2 commercial crew mission, shortly after the completion of a flight readiness review. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

WASHINGTON — 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.

NASA and SpaceX completed a flight readiness review (FRR) May 22 that lasted one and a half days. At the end of the review, agency leaders gave their approval to continue with plans for a May 27 launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on the Demo-2 mission, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board.

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Source: https://spacenews.com/spacex-demo-2-commercial-crew-mission-passes-flight-readiness-review/

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Odp: [SFN] NASA clears SpaceX crew capsule for first astronaut mission
« Odpowiedź #52 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:51 »
NASA clears SpaceX crew capsule for first astronaut mission
May 22, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]


The Falcon 9 rocket that will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken into orbit fired its engines in a ground test at 4:33 p.m. EDT (2033 GMT) on Friday, May 22. Credit: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

After a two-day readiness review, NASA managers gave a green light Friday for SpaceX to proceed with final preparations for launch next Wednesday, May 27, of a commercial spaceship carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station on the first orbital spaceflight from U.S. soil since 2011.

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Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/22/nasa-review-clears-spacex-crew-capsule-for-first-astronaut-mission/

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Odp: [SFN] Trump to visit Kennedy Space Center for crew launch
« Odpowiedź #53 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:51 »
Trump to visit Kennedy Space Center for crew launch
May 22, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]


President Donald Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, delivers remarks at a 2018 meeting of the National Space Council at the White House. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

President Trump plans to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida next week to view the first launch of astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil in nearly a decade, according to White House officials.

Vice President Mike Pence previously announced plans to travel to the Kennedy Space Center for the launch of NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.

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Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/22/trump-plans-to-be-at-the-kennedy-space-center-for-crew-launch/

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Odp: [SN] Trump to attend Demo-2 launch, but fewer other guests
« Odpowiedź #54 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:51 »
Trump to attend Demo-2 launch, but fewer other guests
by Jeff Foust — May 23, 2020 [SN]


Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump are both expected to attend the Demo-2 commercial crew launch attempt May 27. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

WASHINGTON — While both the president and vice president plan to attend the Demo-2 commercial crew launch, there will be far fewer people attending the first American human orbital spaceflight in nearly a decade than once expected.

The White House announced May 22 that President Donald Trump will go to the Kennedy Space Center for the Demo-2 launch on May 27, but provided few other details about the visit.

(...)
Source: https://spacenews.com/trump-to-attend-demo-2-launch-but-fewer-other-guests/

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Odp: [SFN] Dragon crew runs through launch day dress rehearsal
« Odpowiedź #55 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:52 »
Dragon crew runs through launch day dress rehearsal
May 23, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken donned their SpaceX-made launch and entry flight suits Saturday and rode to pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in a final dress rehearsal before launch day.

They rode in a Tesla SUV with the license plate “ISSBND” — noting the crew’s destination of the International Space Station.

The two NASA astronauts — each a veteran of two space shuttle flights — departed crew quarters at Kennedy’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building a little before 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT) Saturday.

After a 20-minute drive to the launch pad, Hurley and Behnken rode an elevator to the 265-foot-level of the seaside complex, walked across the 50-foot crew access arm, and boarded SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. The strapped into their seats and performed their initial spacecraft fit checks, following the same timeline as launch day.


Cytuj
Spaceflight Now@SpaceflightNow 7:37 PM - May 23, 2020
Dragon astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are riding a Tesla Model X to launch pad 39A, where they will strap into the Crew Dragon spacecraft for today’s dress rehearsal. The just drove by the Kennedy Space Center press site. https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/20/falcon-9-crew-dragon-demo-2-launch-preps/
Twitter

The countdown was expected to halt an hour prior to the simulated launch time of 4:33:33 p.m. EDT (2033:33 GMT), the same time of the Crew Dragon’s scheduled liftoff Wednesday. The astronauts were expected to exit the Crew Dragon spacecraft within a half-hour after the simulated scrub, then return to crew quarters for a debriefing.

Saturday’s “dry dress rehearsal” was the final practice session for the astronauts with the Crew Dragon capsule they will fly into orbit.

A preliminary forecast issued Saturday by the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predicts a 40 percent probability of favorable conditions for launch Wednesday. That does not take into account additional weather restrictions for a crewed mission, such as favorable winds and sea states downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.

Backup launch opportunities are available May 30 at 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT) and May 31 at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT).





















Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls


The convoy carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken is seen in the background behind SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on pad 39A. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky


This view inside Firing Room 4 at NASA’s Launch Control Center at the Kennedy Space Center shows a video monitor, where astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are visible in the crew access arm at pad 39A Saturday. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky


Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of build and flight reliability at SpaceX, speaks with Steve Stich, NASA’s deputy commercial crew program manager, inside Firing Room 4 at NASA’s Launch Control Center on Saturday. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky






Credits: SpaceX


Dragon spacecraft commander Doug Hurley and joint operations commander Bob Behnken pose at launch pad 39A Saturday during a dress rehearsal for their launch scheduled May 27. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/23/photos-dragon-crew-runs-through-launch-day-dress-rehearsal/

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Astronauts have a surprise name for their Crew Dragon spacecraft
May 23, 2020 Stephen Clark [SFN]


The Crew Dragon spacecraft sits atop a Falcon 9 rocket on pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: SpaceX

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken plan to reveal a name for their Crew Dragon spaceship on the day they launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, reclaiming a tradition that dates back to the dawn of the Space Age.

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Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/23/astronauts-have-a-surprise-name-for-their-crew-dragon-spacecraft/

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Odp: [FT] NASA astronauts spending Memorial Day in quarantine
« Odpowiedź #57 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:52 »
NASA astronauts spending Memorial Day in quarantine
Rachael Joy Florida Today Published 7:01 PM EDT May 22, 2020 [FT]


Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in front of the SpaceX Flacon 9 that will carry them to the ISS on their historic flight. NASA/Kim Shiflett

Like most people in Brevard County, astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken hope to spend some time at the beach this Memorial Day – if they can break away from their busy schedule preparing for their historic launch next week.

“It’ll be a unique Memorial Day weekend for us being in quarantine. The good thing is our families arrive tomorrow so we’ll get to see them,”  Hurley told FLORIDA TODAY during a virtual press conference.

They’re slated to lift off at 4:33 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carried by a Falcon 9 rocket – the first launch of American astronauts from American soil to the International Space Station in nearly a decade.

Before then, the astronauts have a jam packed schedule of events starting with the full dress rehearsal on Saturday for launch day.

“Hopefully we’ll get a chance to be outside, maybe get out to the beach house and at least enjoy some of the traditional things folks hope to enjoy on most Memorial Days,” he continued.

The Astronaut Beach House is a historic structure on the Kennedy Space Center built in 1962 for the astronauts and their families to enjoy time together before a launch.

Hurley and Behnken arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday and were greeted by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and  Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana.

Hurley and Behnken's first astronaut jobs were at Kennedy Space Center where they spent several years early in their careers.

"This is a very, very special place to us. It’s almost like a home away from home so it’s great to be back,” Hurley said.

So where do they like to go locally when they aren’t in quarantine?

“Anywhere in Cocoa Beach. It’s always just neat to get out, see the beach and some of the different restaurants and places we try to go whenever we get down here but the docs will not allow it on this trip,” Hurley joked.


Source: https://eu.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2020/05/22/nasa-astronauts-spending-memorial-day-quarantine-before-spacex-launch/5245869002/
« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 24, 2020, 06:38 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: [FT] How Elon Musk beat Boeing in the commercial space race
« Odpowiedź #58 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:52 »
How Elon Musk beat Boeing in the commercial space race to launch NASA astronauts
Rachael Joy Florida Today Published 1:33 PM EDT May 23, 2020


Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at Tesla's design studio on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Hawthorne, Calif. Jae C. Hong, AP

To understand how a former software engineer with no space experience built a company selected to launch NASA astronauts to orbit, it might help to go back to a brisk February evening in 2008, when a guy you probably never heard of rode shotgun next to Elon Musk, holding on for dear life as Musk raced the first ever production Tesla through the streets of Los Angeles. 

"This thing just slams you to the back of your seat like a fighter jet does,” Silicon Valley tech blogger, Robert Scoble wrote on his blog the next day.

(...)
Source: https://eu.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2020/05/22/elon-musk-beats-out-boeing-space-race-launch-nasa-astronauts/3054947001/

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Odp: [FT] How Elon Musk beat Boeing in the commercial space race
« Odpowiedź #58 dnia: Maj 24, 2020, 04:52 »