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NASA Says SpaceX Test 'Crucial Step' Towards Proving Safety

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By    |   Friday, 01 March 2019 12:18 PM

NASA says that SpaceX’s upcoming test flight of a commercial spaceship capable of carrying people marks a “crucial step” towards proving that the company can ensure astronauts’ safety, The Washington Post reports.

The flight, if successful, will be the first time a spaceship capable of carrying people that is commercially built and operated will travel to the International Space Station. 

William Gerstenmaier, the associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA, said at a news conference last week that the launch “is an absolutely critical first step.”

The “Crew Dragon” spacecraft will launch early on Saturday with “Ripley,” a mannequin, and roughly 400 pounds of cargo. SpaceX and Boeing both won contracts with NASA in 2014, after the agency decided to retire the space shuttle, but each company has encountered delays and complications due to the strict safety requirements set by NASA.

SpaceX vice president for build and flight reliability, Hans Koenigsmann, told reporters on Thursday that the company has completed “an incredible amount of testing to make sure that everything is safe and ready to go.”

Gerstenmaier added that the vehicle is in “very, very good shape.”

“I’m very comfortable with where we’re headed with this flight. I fully expect we’re going to learn something on this flight. I guarantee you everything will not work exactly right. And that’s cool. ... We want to maximize our learning so we can get the stuff ready so when we put crew on we’re ready to go do a real crew mission,” he said.

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NASA says that SpaceX’s upcoming test flight of a commercial spaceship capable of carrying people marks a “crucial step” towards proving that the company can ensure astronauts’ safety, The Washington Post reports.
spacex, nasa, test, flight, safety, space, travel
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2019-18-01
Friday, 01 March 2019 12:18 PM
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