Elon Musk Tweets Updates on SpaceX’s Dragon, Starship
Elon Musk tweeted a simulation of what a crewed flight to the International Space Station on SpaceX’s Dragon will look like, forecasting a crewed flight during 2020.
“Crew Dragon should be physically ready & at the Cape in Feb, but completing all safety reviews will probably take a few more months,” Musk tweeted on Dec. 29.
According to NASA, the space administration and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Jan. 11, 2020, for the Crew Dragon’s In-Flight Abort Test from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Crew Dragon will trigger a launch escape after liftoff to demonstrate its capability to separate from the Falcon 9 rocket in the event of an in-flight emergency. The demonstration is one of the final major tests for the company before NASA astronauts will fly aboard the spacecraft for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
In addition, on Dec. 23, SpaceX completed its 10th successful multi-chute test in a row of Crew Dragon’s upgraded Mark 3 parachute design, another step closer to launching and landing NASA astronauts.
Musk also tweeted updates on Starship, SpaceX’s massive, long-duration spacecraft. On Dec. 27, he tweeted that the Starship’s first flight is “hopefully 2 to 3 months away.”
“We’re now building flight design of Starship SN1, but each SN will have at least minor improvements, at least through SN20 or so of Starship V1.0,” Musk tweeted.
He also shared video of a SpaceX crew in Boca Chica, Texas, working on the tank dome structure, and tweeted that the team in Boca is focused on the Starship and the team in Cape Canaveral is focused on the Falcon and Dragon.