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SpaceX is ready to send its first full astronaut crew into space for NASA, on a launch system newly certified for human spaceflight. The Falcon 9 rocket is upright on the launchpad, a Crew Dragon spaceship secured firmly to its nose. The engines have been test fired. Four astronauts are anxiously waiting for the countdown — launch is scheduled for Sunday at 7:27 p.m. ET.

Since SpaceX’s first human launch, a demonstration that rocketed NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS), the company has ironed out several wrinkles with its system.

In that mission, called Demo-2, the Crew Dragon spaceship’s fiery fall through Earth’s atmosphere wore away its protective shield more than expected. Its parachutes also deployed a little late, and then boats full of spectators swarmed the toasted capsule once it landed. Additionally, a few weeks after the astronauts returned, another Falcon 9 launch revealed that a nail-polish-like substance was clogging up vents in the engines.

NASA and SpaceX have worked quickly to correct these malfunctions, adapt their processes, and upgrade the hardware. As a result, the upcoming mission, called Crew-1, is going to look different from Behnken and Hurley’s.

“We’re flying a …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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