Space X passes final parachute test ahead its historic launch

Space X passes final parachute test ahead its historic launch on May 27 that will mark America’s first manned spaceflight in nearly nine years before their 2024 Moon trip

  • Space X’s final parachute test was a success on Friday 
  • Space X has partnered with NASA to launch the US’s first manned spaceflight in nearly nine years 
  • Spacecraft will head to the International Space Station 
  • NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley will man the spacecraft
  • They will fly in the Crew Dragon capsule that is launched with the Falcon 9 rocket

Space X completed its final parachute test as the aerospace company and Nasa prepare to launch two astronauts to the International Space Station on May 27. 

Space X, founded by Elon Musk, shared news of the successful test run Friday on Twitter as they gear up for the historic lift off of Demo-2, the first crewed test flight  of the Crew Dragon spacecraft. 

’27th and final test of Crew Dragon’s upgraded Mark 3 parachutes complete,’ Space X wrote.

Space X announced that it passed the final parachute test ahead of the May 27 lift off

This Monday, March 30, 2020 photo made available by SpaceX shows NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, left, and Doug Hurley during a test at a SpaceX processing facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

‘One step closer to flying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station and safely returning them back home to Earth.’

A photo of the test showed the Crew Dragon’s parachutes fully functional as it safely floated to the ground. 

Space enthusiasts are anticipating the launch as it is latest step is helping push the U.S. back to the front of human spaceflight.

It will be America’s first manned spaceflight in nearly nine years. 

NASA has been unable to fly astronauts since the Space Shuttle fleet was retired 2011, and have been forced to rely on Russian Soyuz rockets for rides to the International Space Station at $84million a seat.

This undated photo made available by SpaceX in February 2020 shows the Crew Dragon spacecraft undergoing acoustic testing in Florida

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley (right) will man the spacecraft as it travels to the International Space Station

Space officials also complete an investigation into an engine failure on the first stage of the Space X Falcon 9 rocket during a previous launch in March. 

During that test, 60 of Space X’s Starlink internet satellites were aboard, Space.com reports. 

The misstep didn’t interfere with the overall mission since the satellites reached orbit, but NASA and Space X conducted an investigation since the upcoming launch would also use a Falcon 9 rockte. 

‘We have reviewed the anomaly resolution of the Starlink launch and actually have cleared the engines on our vehicle for that failure,”said  Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. 

Space X has developed Crew Dragon in contact with the Commercial Crew Program. 

The crew will be transported into space in Crew Dragon (pictured) 

Pictured: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a demo Crew Dragon spacecraft lifts off from pad 39A on an un-crewed test flight to the International Space Station at the Kennedy Space Center

 In 2014, NASA awarded contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to create a spacecraft capable of flying humans to the space station. 

The following years were bogged down by funding issues and technical problems that halted progress. 

However, Space X’s deal includes finishing the capsule and flying six operational crew missions to and from ISS.  

Meanwhile, Boeing has had difficulty with its Starliner spacecraft, including arriving in the wrong orbit during a test flight and problems with deploying parachutes.

It’s unclear when Boeing will need to send another Starliner to the space station without launching astronauts later this year

An investigation team is still looking into why the Starliner’s automated timer was off by 11 hours during the December test flight.

 NASA starts billionaire space race as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos compete in $967 million battle to develop a craft land astronauts on the moon in 2024 

NASA’s Artemis mission that is set to land the first woman and next man on the moon has just turned into a space race between billionaires.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have been chosen to develop human landing systems for the mission set to launch in 2024.

Along with the two tech tycoons, NASA has also awarded Dynetics part of the 10 month contract that totals $967 million.  

The firms are set to create lander concepts by 2021 and NASA will then pick one or more winners to begin building the spacecraft. 

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NASA revealed the three US companies that will help take the first woman and next man to the moon by 2024. Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX will develop human landing systems for the space agency’s Artemis program (pictured is artist concept of the Artemis mission)

Bringing humans back to the moon has been a dream of NASA for years, but with the Artemis mission just four years away, the agency is working tirelessly to make sure it becomes a reality.

The US has not had a human landing system since 1972, but the technologies are vital for the American space agency’s deep space exploration plans. 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a live feed of the announcement: ‘It is important that the agency do this now, our country and in fact the whole world has been shaken by the coronavirus.’

‘We need to give people hope and something dream about that will inspire the nation and the entire world.’

‘With these contract awards, America is moving forward with the final step needed to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024, including the incredible moment when we will see the first woman set foot on the lunar surface.’

Blue Origin, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is developing the Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV). Blue Origin said its lunar lander, dubbed Blue Moon, will be able to carry all sorts of payloads to the surface and can hold ‘multiple metric tons’

NASA awarded the Blue Origin team with $579 million, the Dynetics team with $253 million and SpaceX with $135 million.

Boeing, in partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne, also bid on HLS but was not awarded with a study contract. The Boeing proposal included using an upgraded Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which Boeing is currently building for NASA.

Blue Origin, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is developing the Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV).

Jeff Bezos’ (pictured) Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX have been chosen to develop human landing systems for the mission set to launch in 2024.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (pictured) has been chosen among the three to design a lunar lander that will take the first woman and next man to the moon

This is a three-stage lander that will launch on the firm’s own New Glenn Rocket System and ULA Vulcan launch system.

Bezos revealed plans of ‘going to the moon’ in 2019, when he shared elaborate concept images of self-sustaining space habitats reminiscent of the film Interstellar, with lush greenery and futuristic homes within its walls.

Blue Origin said its lunar lander, dubbed Blue Moon, will be able to carry all sorts of payloads to the surface and can hold ‘multiple metric tons.’

The craft will ‘enable a sustained human presence on the moon,’ the company said. And, according to the CEO, the company already has about six customers.

The lander builds upon technology the firm has been testing over the past few years in its New Shepard rocket, including propulsion and precision guidance, as well as the vertical landing system.

SpaceX has also joined the team and is set to design its Starship rocket, which it is currently developing and refining in Texas. SpaceX said a ‘lunar optimized Starship’ would bring crew from lunar orbit to the Moon’s surface under NASA’s Artemis program

The firm has quietly been developing Blue Moon for years.

SpaceX has also joined the team and is set to design its Starship rocket, which it is currently developing and refining in Texas.

SpaceX said a ‘lunar optimized Starship’ would bring crew from lunar orbit to the Moon’s surface under NASA’s Artemis program.

‘A lunar optimized Starship can fly many times between the surface of the Moon and lunar orbit without flaps or heat shielding required for Earth return,’ the company said.

However, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Bridenstine have a history of bad blood, so it may be a surprise the firm was chosen as for this project.

During a conference in 2019, Bridenstine re-hashed Tweets criticizing SpaceX for failing to meet timelines for the development of its Crew Dragon spacecraft, saying they were meant as a warning to all of the space agency’s contractors about setting realistic development schedules.

‘I have been focused on returning to realism when it comes to costs and schedules,’ said the NASA Administrator.

‘So I was signaling – and I haven’t done it just to SpaceX but to all of our contractors – that we need more realism built into the development timelines.’

But Musk has been working with NASA to develop the Crew Dragon capsule that will shuttle US astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA has also chosen Dynetics to design the human landing system, which will work the Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) – a single structure providing the ascent and descent capabilities that will launch on the ULA Vulcan launch system.

The Alabama-based firm has excelled in designing a myriad of useful components for space, including satellites, propulsion systems, vehicles, satellites and more.

NASA has also chosen Dynetics to design the human landing system, which will work the Dynetics Human Landing System (DHLS) – a single structure providing the ascent and descent capabilities that will launch on the ULA Vulcan launch system

NASA’s partners will refine their lander concepts during the 10 month contracts.

During that time, the agency will evaluate which of the contractors will perform initial demonstration missions and then choose the final designs to be develop for Artemis.

Lisa Watson-Morgan, HLS program manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, said: ‘I am confident in NASA’s partnership with these companies to help achieve the Artemis mission and develop the human landing system returning us to the Moon.’

‘We have a history of proven lunar technical expertise and capabilities at Marshall and across NASA that will pave the way for our efforts to quickly and safely land humans on the Moon in 2024.

NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis mission

Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. 

NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 –  including the first woman and the next man.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. 

Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. 

During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.

It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission. 

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission

Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before. 

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. 

The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.

The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons. 

Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.

Eventually NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.

The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy. 

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