NASA, SpaceX To Go Ahead With Manned Mission Test In May

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NASA and SpaceX will continue testing the first manned crew mission. A new report suggests that the space agencies are set to go ahead with the commercial crew program set to liftoff in May. SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-2 test will continue as per schedule, carrying astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley a NASA blog post noted.

NASA, SpaceX To Test Manned Crew In May

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry the astronauts to the International Space Station and is "currently targeting no earlier than mid-to-late May for launch," the blog post said. The manned mission will mark "the return of human spaceflight launch capabilities to the United States and the first launch of American astronauts aboard an American rocket and spacecraft since the final space shuttle mission on July 8, 2011," NASA said.

NASA, SpaceX Milestone

The upcoming manned mission is indeed a milestone for both NASA and SpaceX. Presently, astronauts are sent to and from ISS via the Russian Soyuz rockets. NASA has been trying to minimize its dependence on other countries for spaceships via the commercial crew programs with SpaceX and Boeing.

However, Boeing is having multiple issues and errors on its Starliner. NASA has chalked down various rectifications for Boeing currently. Various demo missions and cargo missions have already been tested by SpaceX, including sending crucial equipment to ISS via the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.

What About COVID-19?

Missions like ExoMars by ESA are put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, it looks like nothing is stopping NASA and SpaceX. The space agency is already taking steps to safeguard the astronauts' health before the liftoff with a two-week quarantine and inspection of supplies for microbes.

 

Moreover, NASA is bringing in limited contact with crew members and has even shut down two of its facilities. The agency is ensuring that the astronauts don't catch the virus and carry it to space. It has also mandated remote work from home for its employees with four stages of quarantine.

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