As NASA gave the go-ahead for SpaceX's historic liftoff of two astronauts on Crew Dragon capsule from Florida to the International Space Station next week following a Flight Readiness Review, CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk credited the success to “incredible” amount of work that teams from both organisations put into Demo-2 mission along with the “support” of all countries of International Space Station (ISS). What NASA is calling a “new era of human spaceflight” under its program ‘#LaunchAmerica’ involves astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to fly on SpaceX-manufactured Crew Dragon Spacecraft on May 27 from Launch Complex 39A in Florida to ISS.
This is the first time that a private company has been allowed to ‘run the show’. However, the duration of the Demo-2 mission is yet to be determined. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has announced that the review of flight readiness has been completed and they got the green signal after each system, as well as the subsystem, was considered.
"The flight readiness review is complete... As each system and subsystem was considered, at the end, we got to a 'go.'" Administrator @JimBridenstine shares the news: We are ready to #LaunchAmerica on May 27: https://t.co/viWmO6ht4c pic.twitter.com/KRlUUzoMQH— NASA (@NASA) May 22, 2020
Both Behnken and Hurley were apparently one of the first astronauts who had begun working and training with SpaceX on its next-generation human race vehicle. Therefore, they were selected for the DEmo-2 mission for their “extensive test pilot and flight experience” along with several missions on the space shuttle. According to NASA’s elaboration on ‘Launch America’, the joint operations commander for the momentous mission will be Behnken and will monitor the activities including “rendezvous, docking and undocking” and Demo-2 activities. Hurley, on the other hand, would be spacecraft commander for the same and will be responsible for activities such as “launch, landing and recovery”.
Both astronauts will be incorporated among the members of Expedition 63 crew. They will then start operations on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon along with other researches with space station crew. NASA also said that “although the Crew Dragon being used for this flight test can stay in orbit about 110 days, the specific mission duration will be determined once on a station based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch. The operational Crew Dragon spacecraft will be capable of staying in orbit for at least 210 days as a NASA requirement.”