The one that is the first flight of test of the Dragon Crew has beginning marked for the 11:49 of Lisbon of this Saturday. It still does not take astronauts on board, but it does take a special passenger – who knows a Starman 2.0 …?
After several delays, the SpaceX capsule for NASA's astronaut transport is less than 48 hours from its first test flight. The inaugural trip to the International Space Station begins at 02:49 EST – 7:49 am in Lisbon – next Saturday, March 2, starting at the Kennedy Space Center.
Arrival at the destination is scheduled for the following day, Sunday, around 06:00 EST (11:00 am Lisbon). And without any robotic arms for the coupling: the Dragon Crew was designed to automatically "connect" to the ISS on its own, using a combination of software, lasers and sensors – and using some changes made a few years ago, already thinking this possibility. The return to Earth takes place on March 8.
On this first test flight there will still be no humans on board, but there is one passenger. A mannequin equipped with the astronaut fact developed by SpaceX, with its various scientific sensors, capable of providing important data before putting a real astronaut in the shuttle.
It is recalled that Crew Dragon is an altered version of Cargo Dragon, the spacecraft has been used to carry goods shipments to the ISS since 2012. This has been modified to carry up to seven astronauts, adding life support systems as well like technologies that will now be tested in flight. Among them are the solar panels built for the ship.
With the partnership of SpaceX (and Boeing), and under the Commercial Crew Program, NASA will move its astronauts to the ISS on its own. So far, it has turned to the Russian counterpart (and paid for it).