SpaceX passes NASA’s safety review, targets manned mission in 2017
Zee Media Bureau
Hawthorne, California: Your dream of taking a private spaceflight would soon become a reality with the space transport firm SpaceX successfully passing the NASA’s safety reviews test.
While SpaceX has made several successful Dragon/Falcon 9 cargo runs to the International Space Station (ISS), this time the private company has met the NASA’s safety rules paving way for a manned spaceflight missions soon.
A team of NASA engineers visited SpaceX headquarters in late October for two days, in which the private space firm’s safety reviews were examined in detail.
The review process is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) aiming to send astronauts into space with rockets made by American companies.
If all goes well with the plan, SpaceX will ferry astronauts into the ISS by end of 2017.
According to NASA, this safety test marks the 9th landmark, with 6 milestones remaining for the private space firm.
“We greatly appreciate NASA’s support and feedback throughout this process,” said Garrett Reisman, commercial crew project manager at SpaceX and a former astronaut. “Together we are taking all the necessary steps to make Dragon the safest, most reliable spacecraft ever flown.”
The next step for SpaceX towards full manned spaceflight certification will involve a pair of launch abort tests which will happen sometime around in the middle of 2014.
In the first step, SpaceX will attempt a pad abort test at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The second test will see the Dragon separating from the Falcon 9 while it is in flight, then parachute it safely to the surface.
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