The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, an organization better known as SpaceX, has had a series of misfortunes since its beginnings. In 2013, the Dragon spacecraft successfully reached the orbit. However, there were undisclosed issues that forced Dragon to return one day later than scheduled. In 2015, a steel strut broke under the force of acceleration, putting a stop to a resupply mission to the ISS. More recently, in 2016, a launch vehicle exploded which led to the destruction of a $200 million piece of equipment. Musk described the latter accident as the biggest setback for their in the 14-year old history of SpaceX. This one month old malfunction delayed the first Dragon cosmic launch with human crew on board even more.
According to the NASA blog, the initial plan proposed the year of 2017 to be the crucial moment of the first crewed flight on board the SpaceX spacecraft. However, the launch date was rescheduled for May 2018. Even though the Dragon spacecraft reached the orbit before, it will be its first time when it transports a crew of persons on board.
However, the fans of this challenging mission shouldn’t be discouraged. There is going to be a demonstration mission in November 2017. Even though this performance won’t include the presence of astronauts on board, this is still an important event in the history of SpaceX. The NASA commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders, confirmed that on November 14th the NASA Advisory Council’s human exploration and operations committee will be changed with commercial crew organizations within a quarterly reviewed meeting.
SpaceX officials declared that their mission needs a thorough investigation since the explosive incident. They will continue to collaborate with NASA to bring the planned milestones to full success. With the extra time given by the announced delay, SpaceX will proceed with careful tests for their designs, process, and systems. They want to avoid any possibility of future accidents. It is expected for a series of corrections to take place and improve the Dragon spacecraft.
No matter how many accidents set SpaceX back, it is still one of the most successful companies of its kind. Its achievements cover the first rocket built with private funds ever to reach the orbit in 2008 and the first private organization to ever coordinate the cosmic launch and return of a spacecraft. The multi-million project intends to send humans to Mars and colonize the planet eventually.
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