AUG 02, 2016 10:46 AM PDT

NASA Orders a Second Crew Dragon Mission From SpaceX for the ISS

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA wants to bring some of its space launches back to American soil so that it’s not always depending on other nations to resupply the International Space Station and future space missions with cold, hard supplies and astronauts to use them. As a result, it’s working with two major commercial space companies: Boeing and SpaceX.
 
NASA already has contracts with Boeing to send astronauts into space two times, and SpaceX had a contact to do it once, but NASA appears to have reached out to SpaceX for a second time to order another space launch, giving Boeing and SpaceX equal share in the commercial space flight opportunities ahead in the future of space exploration.
 

An artist's impression of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft docking with the International Space Station.

 Image Credit: SpaceX/NASA

"The order of a second crew rotation mission from SpaceX, paired with the two ordered from Boeing will help ensure reliable access to the station on American spacecraft and rockets," said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in a statement. "These systems will ensure reliable U.S. crew rotation services to the station, and will serve as a lifeboat for the space station for up to seven months."
 
NASA explains in the statement that this is the “fourth and final guaranteed order“ that NASA will place. This is because the contracts detailed that each company would produce the equipment necessary to withstand a minimum of two missions each, but a maximum of six. It’s up to NASA to order more than the two that have been ordered already.
 
Boeing and SpaceX have both already begun manufacturing the equipment that will be necessary to make these missions a reality. The initial orders from NASA for both companies were placed last year.
 
With the spotlight now on SpaceX following the second mission order, SpaceX is currently manufacturing four of its Crew Dragon spacecraft that will deliver astronauts into space. Two of them are for testing, while the other two are for the official missions, which may occur as soon as next year.

These spacecraft will have enough room to seat four astronauts, and carry 220 pounds of luggage. After being sent to the International Space Station, it can then dock there for at least 210 days, serving as an emergency escape craft if needed.
 
Soon, NASA will send a seventh crew member to the International Space Station using these commercial spacecraft.
 
“With the commercial crew vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX, we will soon add a seventh crew member to space station missions, which will significantly increase the amount of crew time to conduct research,” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s International Space Station chief scientist. “Given the number of investigations waiting for the crew to be able to complete their research, having more crew members will enable NASA and our partners to significantly increase the important research being done every day for the benefit of all humanity."

It will be great to see who has the more reliable spacecraft in future testing; Boeing, or SpaceX. It will also be very beneficial for the push for more American-based space exploration without the need to depend on international entities.
 
Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 14, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Cosmic Rays Might Have Played a Role in Shaping Our Genetic Materials
AUG 14, 2020
Cosmic Rays Might Have Played a Role in Shaping Our Genetic Materials
DNA, whose signature double helix structure scored Watson and Crick (and Frankland presumably according to many) a Nobel ...
AUG 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Understanding the Fate of Stars Consumed by Black Holes
AUG 31, 2020
Understanding the Fate of Stars Consumed by Black Holes
If a star gets too close to a supermassive black hole, the forces exerted on the star tear it to shreds, generating a hu ...
SEP 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Discover Intergalactic Origins of Gold
SEP 18, 2020
Scientists Discover Intergalactic Origins of Gold
Back in 2017, scientists theorized that elements heavier than iron- such as gold- came to be following a collision betwe ...
NOV 04, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Missing Link Between Fast Radio Bursts & Magnetars Found in Our Galaxy
NOV 04, 2020
Missing Link Between Fast Radio Bursts & Magnetars Found in Our Galaxy
A neutron star is born when a massive star dies out in a supernova, leaving its collapsed and incredibly dense core rema ...
NOV 20, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Passing of a Neutrino Hunting Pioneer
NOV 20, 2020
The Passing of a Neutrino Hunting Pioneer
Masatoshi Koshiba, a revered Japanese physicist known for his groundbreaking work on cosmic neutrino detection, passed a ...
DEC 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
It's Not a Quasar, It's a Blazar
DEC 23, 2020
It's Not a Quasar, It's a Blazar
This image is an artist's concept of what a blazar might look like, by NASA. Check out actual shots of the blazar in the ...
Loading Comments...