SpaceX ships upgrade cargo spacecraft to Florida to introduce first orbital dragon

SpaceX reported that it sent the first upgraded Dragon 2 cargo spacecraft to Florida, opening the doors to the first simultaneous spaceflight of the two dragons.

At least a modified version of SpaceX’s fast-maturing crew dragon spacecraft, the company says the Cargo Dragon 2 will be able to carry “50% more science payloads” than the original Cargo Dragon. Cargo Dragon examined many of the earth-shaking milestones of his career, eventually becoming the first privately developed spacecraft to reach orbit, re-enter and splash down; The first commercial spacecraft to present and deliver cargo on the International Space Station (ISS) and the first regular-reusable orbital capsule.

The two historic spacecraft retired after the 21st successful orbital launch and landing at SpainX 2020 in April, less than two months before the Crew Dragon launched, even before the launch of even more historic historical astronaut launches. Prior to Demo-2, Crew Dragon in March 2019 seemed to be the start of an almost incredibly flawless unveiling for both NASA and SpaceX. Cargo Dragon 2 is preparing for its own debut at about the same time as Crew Dragon’s operational astronaut launch debut.

Images of the first upgraded Cargo Dragon 2 spacecraft were shot here in Hawthorne, California, shortly before leaving for Florida. (SpaceX)

As of the October 10th update from NASA, SpaceX and Space Agency have decided to double and triple-check Crew Dragon’s Crew-1 launch in a few weeks to find that a booster engine issue that canceled the recent Falcon 9 satellite launch has no common ground. With Is it not unreasonable to verify that the Falcon 9 Booster B1061 (Crew-1) is not affected by the same issue that forced B1062 to cancel its U.S. military GPS III satellite launch on October 2? .

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The Falcon 9 Booster B1061 was statically driven in April 2020 at the McGregor in Talks. (SpaceX)
The Falcon 9 Booster B1062 was tested at McGregor a few months later. (SpaceX)

As a result, the Crew-1 Placeholder has slipped somewhat from the launch date to October 23rd and October 31st, somewhat from “mid-November”, but most external sources suggest that the mid-November target is likely to be higher. NASA and SpaceX have never confirmed the arrival, but Crew Dragon Capsule C207 probably arrived in Florida in late August or early September, where teams are decorating and processing the spacecraft for final inspection and closeout procedures.

SpaceX, meanwhile, said it had shipped the first Crew Dragon cargo dragon to Florida a few days ago, meaning the company would soon begin the process of simultaneous preflighting of two upgraded dragons for the first time. Significantly, SpaceX did not offer any launch targets in its CRS-11 update, although NASA’s planning documents – prior to the recent Crew-1 delay – stated that the mission was scheduled to launch NET on November 22.

Falcon 9B1058 and Capsule C206 prepare for Crew Dragon’s inaugural astronaut launch in May 2020 N (NASA / Joel Kovsky)
SpaceX’s first astronaut-capable crew, the Dragon, was set to leave Hawthorne in early 2020. (SpaceX)
SpaceX’s first upgraded cargo Dragon spacecraft has sent two SpaceX spacecraft to Florida ahead of the first orbital meeting. (SpaceX)

In other words, CRS-21 and Crew-1 will now launch almost identically in about two weeks – a situation that could create some unique problems. So far, both Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon 2 have been launched from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A. Will be, because the pad is equipped with a unique tower and crew access arm (CAA), both of which allow the astronaut to load the ship and cargo. SpaceX’s Pad 39 has a turnaround record – the time between two launches from the same pad is about 10 days and this number is probably much higher for the Crew Dragon mission.

If current dates hold, NASA will have to decide which SpaceX Dragon mission to launch first. However, it will be too late to identify whether the two SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for CRS-21 and Crew-1 will not be seen for the first time in ISS orbit. If it succeeds, it is safe to say that SpaceX will solidify its position as the only spaceflight company in the world, from affordable and reusable rocket launches, crew spaceflight and space station reconstruction missions to orbital tourism and more.

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