Date set for first unmanned launch of manned Dragon

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Capitalism in space: NASA announced today that SpaceX has set January 7, 2019 as the launch date for its first unmanned test flight of its manned Dragon capsule.

SpaceX is targeting Jan. 7 for launch of its first Crew Dragon commercial ferry ship on an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station, NASA announced Wednesday, a major milestone in the agency’s drive to end its sole reliance on Russian Soyuz crew ships for carrying astronauts to orbit.

If the shakedown flight goes smoothly — and if a NASA safety probe unveiled Tuesday doesn’t turn up any show stoppers — SpaceX could be ready to launch the first piloted Crew Dragon atop a Falcon 9 rocket in the June timeframe, carrying veteran NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the space station. [emphasis mine]

As I said during a taping today for my appearance on WCCO radio tomorrow at 11:10 am (Central), the only thing standing in the way of SpaceX getting its manned capsule off the ground is NASA. June is a long time from now, and the agency, egged on by corrupt politicians, could easily find ways to delay that first manned launch in that time. Nor would I put it past the corrupt Washington in-crowd, led by Senator Richard Shelby (R- Alabama), having no interest in the national interest, to do what they can to sabotage that flight. What they care about is diverting tax dollars to either their own pockets or to the pockets of their allies (which also helps bring them pay-offs campaign contributions as well).

Still, it is encouraging that SpaceX is pushing forward, and that there appear to be strong elements in NASA supporting them. Keep your fingers crossed.



  • jburn

    I bet it really perturbs Shelby when SpaceX makes these huge technological leaps. Falcon Heavy has nearly caused SLS to be deemed obsolete; being fully functional and in service versus SLS being a scattered collection of disassembled parts.

    Now SpaceX has Super Heavy rapidly approaching actual assembly and testing — another giant leap. Imagine a potential flight around the moon with this reusable system before a single SLS is even assembled. The thought must cause Shelby to first go red with rage and then pale with nausea.

  • Col Beausabre

    jburn – “The thought must cause Shelby to first go red with rage and then pale with nausea.”

    Tell ya what, > I < go red with rage then pale with nausea at the thought of my tax dollars being pissed away on SLS

  • 1201AlarmSameType

    Cannot find the WCCO link to the radio interview. Sounds like a great topic.

  • wayne

    Ref-WCCO. I’ve never been able to track down the show after it’s broadcast. Pratt on Texas occasionally makes them available. (and for that Mr. Pratt, I am grateful!)

    Say– Great handle!

    Apollo 11 final approach

    “The computer used on the LM had a storage capacity of only 64KBs and the processor a speed of 4.7MHz.”

  • wayne

    tangent– a better version of the above:

    Apollo 11 landing from PDI to Touchdown

    “An annotated portrayal of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon with captions to explain the various stages of the descent.”

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