Historic Crew Dragon flight concludes with Atlantic splashdown

Historic Crew Dragon flight concludes with Atlantic splashdown

The historic Crew Dragon Demo-1 mission has come to a conclusion with a successful splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean not far from where its mission began six days ago.

Following a five-day mission attached to the International Space Station, the unpiloted Crew Dragon autonomously undocked at 07:32 UTC March 8, 2019, and began moving to a safe distance. The spacecraft left the vicinity of the outpost about 20 minutes later.

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'New era in spaceflight': Crew Dragon docks with ISS

'New era in spaceflight': Crew Dragon docks with ISS

For the first time since the end of the Space Shuttle program, a U.S. spacecraft designed to fly humans has docked with the International Space Station.

At 10:51 UTC March 3, SpaceX’s unpiloted Crew Dragon Demo-1 spacecraft made contact with the docking adapter at the forward end of the International Space Station.

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Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon vertical at Launch Complex 39A

Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon vertical at Launch Complex 39A

The year 2019 is already off to a fast start with multiple deep space encounters performed by several robotic spacecraft. Closer to home, however, another vehicle is being prepped for its first orbital flight: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. However, schedule unknowns still remain.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon test flights delayed

SpaceX Crew Dragon test flights delayed

In a revised schedule released by NASA on Dec. 12, 2016, it was revealed that SpaceX has delayed test flights for its Crew Dragon spacecraft by a number of months. According to Space News, this is, at least in part, due to the Sept. 1 Falcon 9 pad explosion.

The NASA statement gave no reason for the delays other than it reflected a “fourth quarter update” from both SpaceX as well as the Boeing dates that were revised in October 2016.

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An update on SpaceX and CRS-10

An update on SpaceX and CRS-10

The Sept. 1 launch pad explosion of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which destroyed the Amos-6 satellite perched atop, will likely affect the currently planned November 2016 launch of a SpaceX Dragon capsule.

The mission, CRS-10, was tentatively scheduled for a Nov. 11 launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. However, in addition to an investigation that could take months, repairs must also be made to SLC-40.

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