SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has shared a video simulation of what the company’s Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station (ISS) could look like. The two-minute clip that Musk tweeted on Monday shows flight crew boarding the capsule-like spaceship Crew Dragon, countdown, take off and separation of the vehicle from the Falcon 9 rocket. In the simulation, the capsule is seen docking with the ISS and then detaching before returning to the earth with the help of parachutes.
NASA hopes the capsule could be ready for its first crewed “Demo-2” test flight to the ISS in the first quarter of 2020, Engadget reported.
In November, SpaceX completed a series of static fire engine tests of its new passenger spacecraft, Crew Dragon, paving the way for an in-flight launch escape demonstration.
In April, during a similar set of engine tests, the spacecraft experienced an anomaly which led to an explosion and loss of the vehicle. No one was injured during the tests. SpaceX said that the initial tests were “completed successfully, but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand.”
In the following months, a team made up of SpaceX and NASA personnel determined that a slug of liquid propellant in the high-flow helium pressurisation system unexpectedly caused a titanium ignition event resulting in an explosion.
Based on that investigation’s findings and months of testing, SpaceX redesigned components of the system to eliminate the possibility of slugs entering the high-flow pressurisation system.
Earlier this year, SpaceX conducted a successful uncrewed test flight of Crew Dragon, which flew to the space station, docked and then returned home.