SpaceX: here’s how to follow the launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft
The launch of the Crew Dragon will happen from the historic launch pad 39 of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Houston, Florida. The platform was created by NASA in the 1960s for the Apollo lunar project and was flanked by the Air Force base of Cape Canaveral, from which practically all the launches with astronauts of the American space agency were made. The platform has been completely renewed and become a futuristic launch structure.
Here the countdown will take place and therefore the departure of the Crew Dragon or the SpaceX spacecraft that will bring the two American astronauts to the ISS Station. A practically epoch-making moment given that Demo-2 nothing but the final phase of what has been considered the most important space project of recent times. In fact, SpaceX is a ” private ” company born from the portfolio of Elon Musk, which has decided to ally with NASA but which, however, remains responsible for the management phases of the launch, of the maneuvering operations, but also of the rocket and the space capsule beyond. transport of astronauts to the space station. This is therefore the first real journey of NASA astronauts on a private spacecraft.
SpaceX Crew Dragon: here is the launch date and how to follow it
The launch as mentioned scheduled for 22.33 and 33 seconds tomorrow Wednesday 27 May 2020. In this case the institutional channel for direct launches to ISS, NASA and its streams are online 24 hours a day on YouTube.Ustream. SpaceX, as owner and operator of the Crew Dragon capsule, will publish a videoon his YouTube channel. Recall that the reserve launch has been set for 19.22 Italian on Saturday 30 May 2020 clearly in case some preparations for the first launch should go wrong.
If everything goes right, as hopefully, the Crew Dragon aggancer the ISS or the International Space Station after just over 19 hours from the launch, that is, in a first attempt which should take place precisely at 5.30 pm on Thursday 28 May or secondly at 2.20 pm on Sunday 31 May in the event of departure postponed precisely to Saturday.
LAUNCH SpaceX Crew Dragon
- First attempt – Italian 10.33pm on Wednesday 27 May 2020
- Second attempt – 19.22 Italian on Saturday 30 May 2020
ARRIVAL at the ISS of SpaceX Crew Dragon
- First attempt – 5.30pm Italian on Thursday 28 May 2020
- Second attempt – 2.20 pm Italian on Sunday 31 May 2020
HERE is the timeline for the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon
|21:48:33||The SpaceX launch manager checks the conditions for starting the propellant load|
|21:51:33||The crew access arm to the capsule is withdrawn|
|21:56:33||The escape system of the Crew Dragon capsule is armed|
|21:58:33||Start of loading of RP1 propellant (refined kerosene for rockets)|
|21:58:33||Beginning of LOX (liquid oxygen) loading in the first stage|
|22:17:33||Start of LOX (liquid oxygen) loading in the second stage|
|22:26:33||Start of cooling of Merlin rocket motors, through circulation of LOX|
|22:28:33||The power supply of the Crew Dragon passes to the internal system|
|22:32:33||The flight computer of the Falcon 9 begins the final pre-launch checks|
|22:32:33||Falcon tanks are brought to flight pressure (3 bar)|
|22:32:48||SpaceX flight director checks launch conditions (GO / NOGO)|
|22:33:30||The flight computer of the Falcon 9 begins the Merlin ignition sequence|
|22:34:31||Max Q The rocket undergoes the maximum aerodynamic and mechanical stress|
|22:36:06||MECO Shutdown of Merlin first stage engines|
|22:36:07||First and second stage separation|
|22:36:09||Ignition of the MVAC (Merlin Vacuum) motor of the second stage|
|22:36:17||Recovery of first stage brake ignition and direction reversal|
|22:40:48||Entry burn recovery|
|22:42:20||SECO-1 Second stage MVAC engine shutdown|
|22:42:25||First stage ignition recovery for landing (landing burn)|
|22:42:55||Recovery of first stage landing on OCISLY barge|
|22:45:33||The Crew Dragon capsule separates from the second stage|
|22:46:19||Protective cone opening (nosecone) at the top of the Crew Dragon|
SpaceX Crew Dragon: how it will all work
It was way back on July 8, 2011 when the Shuttle Endeavor was launched, the last US-registered space flight. It was the twenty-fifth mission in space for the United States of America and now after 9 years since that launch thanks to a private individual, Elon Musk, NASA returns with this new Demo-2 mission. A mission that we know has not only an American value but also and above all historical value because the Crew Dragon is a decidedly original spacecraft since the intent in the future will be to transport a human crew.
Moreover SpaceX was also the first private company to launch a spacecraft into orbit and to recover it later. Travel after travel the company managed to complete 18 refueling missions to the ISS and in 2014 it finally created the development of Commercial Crew Development or the Dragon capsule certified for travel with human transport of astronauts on board.
How is the Crew Dragon made? The spacecraft created by Elon Musk’s engineers allows the transport in orbit up to 7 astronauts at a time and this is the futuristic character of the new era because it is a warning of the possibility of traveling with “normal” people. Elon Musk has clearly put his and the Crew Dragon as well as the completely new outline with a design never seen before in the old capsules to date. More spacious but also more comfortable. The equipment of the astronauts is also different who now have white suits with black liveries and above all with new lighter but highly protective materials and able to give comfort and safety to astronauts in case of depressurization of the spacecraft.
The carrier rocket that will be placed under the Crew Dragon the famous Falcon 9, also from SpaceX. Falcon 9 the first reusable orbital vehicle that allows you to carry loads up to 22.8 tons in orbit and we have seen it in recent years thanks to many successes in the “ tests ” of missions prior to the current one (83 successful missions and 50 landings) . In 2010, it reached orbit on the first attempt and subsequently docked the International Space Station becoming the first private commercial carrier to do so.
Recall that the Crew Dragon will not immediately reach the International Space Station but he will do a few turns around the Earth before correctly positioning himself in orbit. Then it will detect the detachment to the station which will occur with fully automatic maneuvers even if the astronauts will be able to take manual control in case of problems. At the end of the mission on the ISS, the duration of which is unclear, the spacecraft will automatically release again and therefore position itself for its return to the atmosphere thus allowing the two astronauts to return to Earth with a ditch in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
In short, the launch of epochal Crew Dragon and important for the present but above all for the future. SpaceX will continue to work continuously on its Falcon Heavy or the most powerful launchers that will be destined to reach the Moon but also Mars in the next few years for the time being unmanned. The challenge was launched a few years ago but the success of this Demo-2 mission will certainly be the launching pad for many other missions and especially for the so-called Artemis program which involves the launch of the first woman and one man on the Moon in 2024.