SpaceX/Victor Tangermann
In the Hot Seat

NASA Chooses First Astronauts to Ride SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft

byVictor Tangermann
6. 5. 19
SpaceX/Victor Tangermann

An earlier version of this spacecraft exploded during an engine test in April.


SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule exploded during a test last month. But the Elon Musk spacetech company and NASA are going ahead with choosing the lucky astronauts who will be the first to ride the spaceship into orbit at an unspecified date: Space Shuttle veterans Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

“People to a degree think it’s pretty glamorous to be able to go into space, but it’s actually like a messy camping trip,” Hurley told Reuters in a recent interview.

The “Anomaly”

When exactly Hurley and his crew will blast off into space is still uncertain. SpaceX’s Demo-1 Crew Dragon spacecraft was ripped to shreds during an engine test earlier this year, pushing back the launch that was initially slated for July indefinitely.

NASA, however, is optimistic. Kathy Lueders, manager of the commercial crew program at NASA, saw the “anomaly” as a “gift,” since SpaceX learned “a lot” from the mishap.


Test Ride

And then there’s the fact that SpaceX already successfully completed an uncrewed test ride of the Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station in March.

Boeing is working on its own spacecraft that will carry American astronauts into space called the Starliner. An uncrewed test flight will likely take place after SpaceX’s first crewed mission, according to Reuters.

READ MORE: NASA’s first SpaceX astronauts ready for ‘messy camping trip’ to space [Reuters]

More on Crew Dragon: NASA Commercial Crew Manager Calls SpaceX Explosion a “Gift”


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