On a launch pad in Florida, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is ready for the first flight test of its new space capsule designed to carry astronauts into space.
The Falcon 9 is scheduled to take to the skies over Florida Saturday morning. The rocket’s payload is the new Dragon capsule, the company’s very first vehicle designed to take people to the International Space Station. Even though the Crew Dragon capsule is meant for passengers, it will not carry any people on board when Falcon 9 rocket blasts off.
The mission is called Demonstration-1 or DM-1 and the flight is a test. It is only meant to show NASA that the Crew Dragon is space-worthy and safe for future human crew members.NASA is particularly concerned about this, because the very first people who will fly on the Crew Dragon capsule will be the space agency’s astronauts. The Crew Dragon is a critical part of NASA Commercial Crew Program, which has been developed by using privately-made spacecraft to transport NASA astronauts to and from the space station.
The white, bell-shaped Dragon capsule can carry up to seven astronauts and it is basically a more powerful version of the SpaceX robotic cargo ship. When the capsule blasts off as, it will travel to the International Space Station and dock there. The three astronauts currently living in the space station will be able go inside the hatch to load and unload cargo before the Dragon returns to Earth and splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean.
According to The Verge.