NASA astronauts who will be riding the SpaceX Dragon discussed the challenges they've faced and what they're looking forward to while speaking at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California on August 13 ahead of the Crew Dragon mission.
Crewed test launches of the two spaceships are slated for 2019. If everything goes well, NASA will certify the capsule for routine flights.
The Crew Dragon Spacecraft for Demo-1 will undergo thermal vacuum and acoustic testing at NASA's Plum Brook Station in Ohio.
SpaceX will conduct a demonstration mission-Demo-1.
NASA launched the multibillion-dollar program in 2010 to replace the space shuttle, which the agency retired in July 2011, with privately developed American spacecraft - and stop paying Russian Federation increasing prices to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
But once complete, SpaceX's module will be the first commercial spacecraft to blast off from American soil with NASA astronauts on board. "We always ask ourselves would you fly on this and more would you put your family on this vehicle?" he said.
Dragon riders' spacesuits won't impinge much on the capsule's spaciousness, either; the white-and-gray SpaceX suit is far from bulky, as you can see. Spacecraft, SpaceX has been created to ferry them safely from the orbiting lab.
There was also a tour of the Dragon simulator, which the four astronauts train in on a weekly basis.
Although the operation will be done from Earth, the crew would take control only in case of emergency, says Shotwell. Crew Dragon's controls and flight information are arrayed on three large touch screens facing the commander and pilot, as you can see in these photos of the vehicle's cockpit simulator.
Four of the astronauts who will one day fly the Crew Dragon were at hand to speak about the opportunity to take part in the historic launch.
Designed specifically for NASA's Commercial Crew program alongside rocket manufacturer Boeing, the Crew Dragon is still in production. The crew missions have been delayed repeatedly because of the technical challenges and difficulties of making spacecraft safe for humans.
A SuperDraco engine chamber, which SpaceX makes using 3D printers. The astronauts for this mission are veterans Robert Behnken and Doug "Chunky" Hurley. The bones of this vehicle are very much in place, as you can see, though a fair amount of finishing work still lies ahead.