First Crew Dragon launch slips into February, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweets

Rodiano Bonacci
Gennaio 10, 2019

Falcon 9 on launch pad with Crew Dragon & new astronaut walkway - Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 6, 2019 According to Elon Musk, the first orbital test flight of Crew Dragon should occur sometime in early February.

The test launch of SpaceX's capsule created to shuttle astronauts to and from the International Space Station is not happening this month, according to a tweet from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Most of the final approvals for the launch must be made by the agency only some key government officials work without being paid.

The Crew Dragon's first test flight is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, but it might be delayed because of the ongoing partial government shutdown in the United States. That flight was previously scheduled for June of this year.

The Crew Dragon on top of the Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center.

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The Crew Dragon is the crewed version of SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo ships that have been carrying out resupply missions for NASA since 2012.

Meanwhile, Boeing's CST-100 Starliner should start its first uncrewed test flight in March.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's first Crew Dragon spacecraft rolls out of its hangar at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 3, 2018.

Both SpaceX and Boeing are working on their crew capsules that will take USA astronauts to the International Space Station.

Like SpaceX's uncrewed Dragon ships, the Crew Dragon will launch on the company's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket. For SpaceX a successful launch would place the company firmly in the driver's seat in the race for commercial space travel, ahead of competitors like Blue Origin or Virgin Space. NASA will be able to send astronauts to the International Space Station. It will use parachutes to splash down in the ocean, also like the uncrewed Dragon.

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