Friday, April 17, 2020

NASA, SpaceX Set Launch Date for Manned Flight

As implied earlier in the week, NASA and SpaceX have officially set the launch date for what's called the Demo-2 mission.  The first manned launch in history to be performed by a private company, and the first launch from US soil since 2011 is now scheduled for May 27. 
Liftoff for Demo-2 is set for 4:32 p.m. EDT (2032 GMT) from NASA’s historic launch pad 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida — the same site that hosted NASA’s storied Apollo and shuttle programs.
Also as mentioned in the Tuesday post, the mission was originally intended to be a short term visit but will be extended to a longer duration mission.  NASA launched a new web page dedicated to the mission, describing it as simply “an extended stay at the space station,” for now.

Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken working through mission simulations in the Crew Dragon simulator at SpaceX. 
Behnken and Hurley will join fellow NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, who launched to the station on April 10. Many of the details are still being ironed out, but we do know that Hurley will be the mission’s commander, and Behnken will serve as joint operations commander. Each will be tasked with specific duties during flight, with Hurley focusing on launch, landing, and recovery. Behnken will handle docking and undocking, as well as any activities while the Dragon is docked with the station.
I've been trying to find a report on the cause of the engine failure on the previous Starlink launch that prompted investigation by NASA and SpaceX.  I can't find anything authoritative, only a remark that it appears to have been a pump on the failed engine having been damaged during the T=0 abort the vehicle went through.  Supposedly, that was informally reported by Musk soon after the mission.


  1. Aren't they going to be using a new SpaceX-designed "pressure" suit? It's not a full-on EVA type suit, but something much simpler, and closer to a "partial-pressure" suit as I recall.

    Might be a good topic for another post, eh, SiG? I heard somebody complaining that the suits on the ISS are getting worn-out, and no new ones have been made in quite a while.

    1. I've seen the new SpaceX suits in a YouTube video somewhere, but you know how finding the same video can take forever.

      Yeah, the suits looked much more comfortable than the big EVA suits. I'll see if I can find anything on it.

      NASA did a Press Show and Tell on their new suits within the last few months. NASA's new emphasis is "the first woman on the moon" so they had one of the female astronauts demo the suit.

    2. They look like Hollywood movie 'skin' suits. Like what NASA was looking into about 20 years ago and never did.

      They are designed very well, and take the place of the NASA orange flight suits.

      Can't find any info on a SpaceX EVA suit. I'm sure they have one or more designs, but they're pretty good about keeping things under wraps until they are about to actually show a working model.

    3. I think Teslarati had an article on them awhile back...let me see...ah! Yes, here it is:

      There's not a lot of technical information in there, but this is better than nothing.

    4. UPDATE: Gads I hate it when I do that! You meant (and said right there in plain English) the EVA Suit, not the pressure suit. You're right, I can't find any info on that either.

    5. When I go to the Teslarati or links, I don't get a picture, I get an Instagram broken link message. Is it my system and everyone else sees the suits there? Or am I the only person on Earth without an Instagram account?

    6. For me, it depends upon the site. I often see broken Instagram links when forwarded through a comment or an email even though they show just fine on the original article's site. I don't understand why it works that way, but if you've ever looked at the source code of a modern website it is about 17 orders of magnitude more complex than back when we all coded directly in HTML.

      As I mentioned above, though, that link goes to a description of the pressure suit and not the EVA suit for which no-one seems to have any information. We'll start seeing them after SpaceX decides to put up their own space station, because Starship makes that so cheap and simple... ;-)

    7. SIG, it's not just you. I just returned from a fruitless search of the linked web pages and subsequent follow on links looking for a picture of the "new" suit. No Joy.


  2. Yay, SpaceX. Let's hope NASA finds no way to sabotage the launch.