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First private spacecraft to reach the space station

The Dragon Spacecraft transports burden to the International Space Station according to commercial agreements NASA has with SpaceX, a private…

The Dragon Spacecraft transports burden to the International Space Station according to commercial agreements NASA has with SpaceX, a private space company founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk. The dragon was the first private spacecraft to dock with ISS. SpaceX also develops a crew to accommodate astronauts to the space station.

Drakens first load demonstration flight to the station took place in May 2012 and commercial flights began to fall. SpaceX was originally procured with NASA to make 12 robot supply flights to the station for at least $ 1.6 billion. NASA has then extended the contract to add more flights. As of December 2018, SpaceX has flown 1

6 cargo missions for NASA with unencrypted spacecraft.

While SpaceX is busy transporting freight to and from the station, the company also works with a plan to place astronauts on spacecraft spacecraft. In 2014, the company received $ 2.6 billion from NASA for the latest phase of the Commercial Crew Program, which aims to fly astronauts on US spacecraft. Boeing received $ 4.2 billion to develop its CST-100 Starliner module.

The SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said that his name is Dragon Spacecraft after the song “Puff, Magic Dragon”, a 1960s from the peoples of Peter, Paul and Maria. Musk chose the name, he said, for critics considered his business plan impossible when he founded SpaceX. In fact, Musk and SpaceX kept Dragon’s first 18 month development secret, as the company publicly developed its light Falcon 1 and tunglift Falcon 9 rockets.

The news was publicized in March 2006 after SpaceX and several teammates submitted a proposal for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transport Services (COTS) demonstration program. NASA accepted the SpaceX proposal in August 2006. SpaceX originally received a contract worth $ 278 million. Later, other milestones were added that increased the total possible contract value to $ 396 million.

What SpaceX proposed to do was fly the Dragon spacecraft on three Falcon 9 rocket flights – a rocket still under development. At that time, SpaceX planned to fly these flights in the 2008-09 time frame, but the design, approval process and milestone process took years longer than expected.

Dragon approved a critical NASA review in October 2007, which marked an important milestone, as it is when the spacecraft’s shape is determined. Next month, the SpaceX ground broke for a launch site at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This would be the launch plate for Falcon 9 and Dragon, when time was right.

As Dragon developed forward, NASA offered more funding in several forms. In April 2008, NASA SpaceX awarded a launch agreement.

dubbed “indefinite delivery / indefinite quality”, given that NASA could order somewhere between $ 20,000 and $ 1 billion worth of launches from SpaceX until December 2012. “[SpaceX] can compete for NASA missions using Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, “said the company.

Then came a big breakthrough. In December 2008, NASA Space Xs chose the Falcon 9 / Dragon combination for cargo utilization for the International Space Station. The contract amounted to at least $ 1.6 billion, with the option of expanding services to up to $ 3.1 billion. Musk stated that it was a “huge responsibility” for SpaceX, given that the closest retirement of the commute was over time.

The company placed some communications hardware on the STS-129 flight in November 2009 to help with future spaceX flights to the station. SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket for the first time in June 2010. This flight featured a “qualifying unit” of the Dragon Spacecraft, which would primarily send data during its ride to space.

With the test device successfully flown SpaceX became aware of sending the correct thing. The first full-up test of the Dragon Spacecraft came on December 8, 2010. The mission was a success. It marked the first time a private unmanned spacecraft restored safely back to earth.

The private Dragon Capsule, built by SpaceX, is seen at the end of the International Space Station’s Robot Arm during its accident on October 28, 2012 in this camera show. The Dragon Capsule made the first commercial freight delivery to NASA Space Station.

Credit: NASA TV

With the world’s view, SpaceX planned to send the first load demonstration flight to the station in May 2012. An interruption occurred after a problem was detected in one of the engines and drove back the launch a few days. The spacecraft made it in circulation on 22 May.

Three days later, Dragon took its final approach to the station. The spacecraft experienced some problems with its laser distortion system when the laser was “distracted” and began to bounce signals from the wrong part of the station. SpaceX controllers then attenuated Drakens view, and the approach continued.

Drakens first official supply chain took place in October 2012. While the spacecraft made it orbital, Falcon 9 experienced a problem with one of its rocket engines during the flight. SpaceX adjusted the rocket path to put Dragon on the right track. Dragon was released with the station and was poured since successful weeks later in the Pacific near California.

A dragon spacecraft disappeared to the International Space Station in 2015 when the Falcon 9 rocket carries it failed, causing a disastrous explosion. Space flights were delayed for several months while SpaceX addressed the underlying problem. Last flights resumed in 2016; a Falcon 9 exploded that year on the launch plate with a commercial payload, again pushing back to 2017.

SpaceX was one of three companies that received commercial resale contracts from NASA in January 2016. Between SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Orbital ATK, the contract is valued at up to $ 14 billion. (Who gets how much depends on the exact mix of spacecraft NASA requires for ISS goals.) NASA also periodically issues multiple space station loadings as happened, for example, what happened to SpaceX in February 2016.

One thing that puts dragon spacecraft apart from the fact that other ISS spacecraft is the ability to survive re-entry with sensitive cargo on board. NASA usually uses Dragon Spacecraft to send back bioscience experiments (as experiments requiring astronauts to sample urine or blood). The samples are cooled in spacecraft and picked up quickly after splashdown. Dragon can also carry back living creatures, allowing for biological experiments on ISS.

While Dragon flights make periodic cargo journeys to the International Space Station, SpaceX also works with a human-calculated version of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The company presented its design for the manned spacecraft 2014 to a great fanfare.

The vehicle holds up to seven astronauts. SpaceX and NASA hope that this capacity will allow international space station staff to expand from the current normal level of six people. The first unripe test flight is scheduled for November 2018; Crew tests are set for April 2019, NASA has announced.

While Dragon Spacecraft will not be used to get colonists to Mars, Musk has expressed its views on launching people to the Red Planet. Musk has expressed dreams of colonization for many years. In 2016 and 2017 he outlined several plans to establish marsh colonies.

A look inside the SpaceX Dragon Capsule and its Falcon 9 rocket.

Credit: Karl Tate / SPACE.com

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