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article imageSpaceX set for its first orbital test flight of Crew Dragon

By Karen Graham     Jan 6, 2019 in Technology
Cape Canaveral - Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX has moved its first Dragon spaceship designed for astronauts to the launch pad ahead of an uncrewed test flight that's just weeks away.
The Crew Dragon and its Falcon 9 rocket were rolled out to the historic Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida Thursday, January 3 for a first uncrewed test flight which is scheduled for January 17, hopefully. This will be dependent on how long the government remains partially shut down.
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SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk in a tweet on January 5 wrote: “About a month away from the first orbital test flight of crew Dragon.” A later timeline could place the Crew Dragon demonstration flight, called "Demo-1," in early February, though no official schedule change has been announced.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company s first Crew Dragon spacecraft rolls out of its hangar...
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's first Crew Dragon spacecraft rolls out of its hangar at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Jan. 3, 2018.
SpaceX
If the uncrewed test flight goes well, and an additional upcoming abort test is passed, SpaceX will have completed a significant milestone in preparing to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been selected to make that first crewed flight sometime in the middle of June, according to Futurism.com.
Dragon Cargo Ship model
The new Crew Dragon spaceship is a crewed version of the company's robotic Dragon cargo ships we are all familiar with. They have been flying between Earth and the ISS since 2010 and shuttling cargo to the ISS since 2012.
A look at SpaceX s first Crew Dragon spacecraft attached to its Falcon 9 rocket as both sit inside t...
A look at SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spacecraft attached to its Falcon 9 rocket as both sit inside their hangar at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida in January 2019.
SpaceX
SpaceX is one of two private space companies contracted to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Crew program. The other company, Boeing has a crewed spaceship called the CST-100 Starliner. Boeing is scheduled to make an uncrewed test flight in March, with crewed flight later this year, according to Space.com.
It is important that we have a successful crewed mission because it would restore our launch capabilities and we wouldn't be dependent on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for transporting our astronauts to the ISS.
More about Spacex, Crew Dragon, launch pad 39A, uncrewed test flight, Falcon 9
 
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