A Great Day for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on Saturday!

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Aces Its Final Milestone and a Falcon 9 Goes Boom! Watch Saturday’s Critical Safety Test Here.

Saturday morning SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule passed its final critical safety test with flying colors. Actually, the capsule passed with exploding colors—fiery orange and yellow and red, and smokey gray—to be exact. In fact, that big boom gave NASA and SpaceX big wigs everything they wanted. That’s because it proves the astronauts inside Crew Dragon will be safe, even in the event of a worst-case scenario during launch. That’s right. After the explosion, Crew Dragon touched down safely under its parachutes, and all data indicates that crew members would have survived the procedure. 

Watch the Launch and Falcon 9 Destruction:

The action begins around 18:42.

So What’s Next for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon?

Well, now we get to start using it to send astronauts to the ISS. That’s been the goal all along. However, both Crew Dragon and its Boeing counterpart, Starliner, faced significant delays during their development. Unfortunately, those delays made NASA dependent on Russian Soyuz rockets (at around $82 million per seat) to ferry our astronauts to and from the ISS. That was supposed to be a temporary situation in the wake of the Space Shuttle Program’s discontinuation in 2011.

Nearly ten years later, however, it appears we’re ready to start flying ourselves into orbit again. Following Saturday’s successful test, NASA now needs to officially analyze the data and determine if SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is fit to fly humans. Though by all accounts, the capsule and the system aced the test, SpaceX must still wait for the final go-ahead before crewed operations can begin.

Once SpaceX receives NASA’s stamp of approval, they plan to send two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, up to the ISS for a two-week test mission. That mission, called Demo-2, should happen in the second quarter of this year, according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk. 

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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