SpaceX ships upgraded to Florida for the first orbiting dragon rendezvous

SpaceX says the first upgraded Dragon 2 cargo spacecraft has been sent to Florida, opening the door for the first flight of two dragons simultaneously.

The company claims that the Cargo Dragon 2, a modified version of the SpaceX X’s rapidly maturing Crew Dragon spacecraft, can carry 50% more science payloads than the original Cargo Dragon. Cargo Dragon has explored several milestones in its career, eventually becoming the first privately developed spacecraft to reach orbit and re-enter and splashdown; The first commercial spacecraft to deliver and deliver cargo to the International Space Station (RSS), the first orbiting capsule to be reused regularly.

The SpaceX X historic vehicle retired after completing its 21st successful orbital launch and landing in April 2020, two months before the Crew Dragon’s historic space launch. Prior to Demo-2, Crew Dragon completed what NASA and SpaceX estimated Almost incredibly flawless Uncrowded launch debut In March 2019. After the spacecraft’s two NASA astronauts were sent back to Earth for the first time, the Space XCrew Dragon is preparing for its operational space launch, and Cargo Dragon 2 is making its debut almost on time for its preparation.

Shown here is the first Cargo Dragon 2 spacecraft to be upgraded in Hawthorne, California, just before being sent to Florida. (SpaceX)

According to an October 10 update from NASA, SpaceXX and the space agency have decided to delay the launch of Crew Dragon’s Crew-1 by weeks to test a double, triple test that there is no common cause for a booster engine problem that recently halted the launch of the Falcon 9 satellite. With sister Rocket. The Hawthorne CA factory in SpaceX may have been built for years, and it is not unreasonable to want to confirm that the Falcon 9 booster B1061 (Crew-1) was unaffected, forcing the B1062 to discontinue the US military GPS III satellite launch on October 2nd. .

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In April 2020, the Falcon 9 booster B1061 was regularly fired at McGregor, Texas. (SpaceX)
A few months later the Falcon 9 booster B1062 was tested on McGregor. (SpaceX)

As a result, the Crew-1 placeholder launch dates have declined “from early November to mid-October” from October 23rd to October 31st, while most external sources indicate that the target potential is high from mid-November to late November. NASA and SpaceX have never confirmed the arrival, but the Crew Dragon Capsule C207 arrived in Florida in late August or early September, where teams are preparing and processing spacecraft for final inspection and close-out procedures.

Meanwhile, SpaceX says the cargo dragon, which originated with the crew dragon, was shipped to Florida several days ago, meaning the company will soon begin preflight processing of the two upgraded dragons. Notably, SpaceX has not given any launch target in its CRS-21 update, although NASA planning documents – before the recent Crew-1 delay – announced that the mission would launch on the Net on November 22nd.

The Falcon 9B 1058 and Capsule C206 are being prepared for the inaugural space launch of the Crew Dragon in May 2020.
Crew Dragon, the first astronaut on SpaceX, is set to leave Hawthorne in early 2020. (SpaceX)
SpaceX’s first upgraded cargo dragon spacecraft has been sent to Florida ahead of the first orbiting meeting of two SpaceX spacecraft. (SpaceX)

In other words, CRS-21 and Crew-1 will currently be launched in about two weeks – a situation that creates some particular problems. At present, the Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon 2 need to launch from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A, as the pad is equipped with a special tower and crew access arm (CAA) that allows astronauts to board and load cargo. SpaceX’s Pad 39A turn-round record – the time between two launches from the same pad – is about 10 days, a figure much higher for crew dragon missions.

If there are current dates, NASA will have to decide on the SpaceX Dragon mission to launch first. In any case, it will take a long time for the CRS-21 and Crew-1 to make the first sign that the two SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will be orbiting the RSS. If successful, it is safe to say that SpaceX will remain the sole space company on Earth for orbital tourism and much more, including affordable and reusable rocket launches, crude space travel, and space station redistribution missions.

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