SpaceX vows manned flight to space station is on track

SpaceX					SpaceX gives press exclusive access to Crew Dragon spacesuit and simulator

The astronauts' presence augurs a significant point in the future of SpaceX, founded by Musk in 2002 with the goal of making space accessible to large numbers of people, and eventually colonising Mars. But under the current timeline, SpaceX said it would fly its first test mission without crews in November, and the first with crews in April of next year.

NASA astronauts paid a visit to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne Monday.

The mockup model gives a good idea of what the completed spacecraft should look like by the end of the year. The four astronauts that will fly on "Crew Dragon" also showed up, ready to answer to some questions. Out of lal four, Glover is the only rookie astronaut on the team.

During the event, the engineers guided the reporters from display to display, even inside a mock-up of the crew Dragon spacecraft, which is bigger and more comfortable than NASA's Soyuz spacecraft that they normally use to ride up to the ISS.

The empty metal husk is seen lined with all sorts of wiring and equipment crucial to the spacecraft's survival in space.

"Being able to fly a first flight of a vehicle as a test pilot is once-in-a-generational type of opportunity", said Hurley.

"But I would also say that we've got a lot of work left to do".

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"We take that job very seriously". In the background is the first SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket first stage ever to successfully land during an orbital mission.

Are Technica's Eric Berger, who had the chance to see the simulator up close, noted a big EJECT handle in the middle of the console. SuperDraco engines power Crew Dragon's escape system, which is created to get astronauts out of harm's way during an emergency during launch or any other phase of the trip to orbit.

"Normally the flight computers would initiate such a manoeuvre, but the prominence of the escape system handle underlines its importance".

The first crews tapped to fly Crew Dragon's first flights, Robert Behnken, Doug Hurley, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins helped mark the occasion.

It's the first time NASA has partnered with private industry to launch astronauts into space, bringing with it so many possibilities for us and all of Southern California.

"Not coming back to my family is the only thing I am scared about" said a scientist flying with Crew Dragon.



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