Next Generation Astronaut, Meet Next Generation Spacecraft

CCP-Spacecraft_shareable_SpaceX_v3The next class of astronauts NASA hires may fly on any of four different U.S. vessels during their careers: the International Space Station, two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development – the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and the SpaceX Crew Dragon — and NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will launch aboard the Space Launch System with astronauts to conduct missions in deep space.

SpaceX designed its Crew Dragon to accommodate technological advances in numerous ways to perform the mission of taking astronauts safely to the International Space Station. The launch abort system is integrated into the sidewall of the Crew Dragon. It boasts eight hypergolic-powered engines designed to lift the spacecraft and astronauts inside to safety at any point during launch and ascent. Inside the Crew Dragon, touchscreens replace the myriad of dials and barber poles that defined earlier spacecraft instrument panels. The company developed its cargo-transport version of the Dragon with an eye on carrying crews into space. SpaceX has used its experiences to refine the crew version and provide essential opportunities to automatically perform critical functions, such as rendezvous with the space station and flying through the atmosphere safely to come back home.

If you think you have what it takes to fly this new generation of spacecraft, NASA will start taking applications Dec. 14 for its next astronaut class.

2 thoughts on “Next Generation Astronaut, Meet Next Generation Spacecraft”

  1. Cost control might be the top priority for commercial space travel. The crew dragon is remarkable because it might be the world’s first truly reusable spacecraft that could carry people back and forth in space. The Dragon capsule will be the first commercial spacecraft to take supplies to the International Space Station. What’s more, the new crewed version will be able to take people to the International Space Station, return to Earth, and safely land on the ground. so it can be refueled and reused for next missions. It definitely will lower the cost of commercial space travel.

    Secondly, lower the launching cost is important. China has collaborative projects with Russia, ESA, and Brazil and has launched many commercial satellites for other countries. It has accumulated enough experience of decreasing the launching costs. I hope the NASA and the Chinese Space Agency should discuss about programs aimed at a closer space collaboration. But due to security reasons, all researchers from NASA are prohibited from working with Chinese citizens affiliated with a Chinese state enterprise or entity. In April 2011, the 112th United States Congress banned NASA from using its funds to host Chinese visitors at NASA facilities. In March 2013, the U.S. Congress passed legislation banned Chinese nationals from entering NASA facilities without a waiver from NASA.

    The space collaboration and exploration are not only meaningful for one country, but also for the entire human civilization. I believe all countries should thoroughly abandon the cold-war ideology and foster a new strategies with trust and cooperation.

  2. Sir/Madam

    I like to most a interest about spaceX and Beoing to experience to the successful at NASA.

    I wish to the astronauts will accept her and his craft to test to the spaceX and Beoing do pass very important and necessary it.

    I hope to new a build to the spaceX and Beoing at NASA in future.

    I am deaf and l from Dublin, Ireland.

    ERIC MOLLOY.

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