It is launched by a Falcon 9 rocket and its mission is to take people to the ISS

SpaceX's Crew Dragon: this is how the first private manned spacecraft works

For many years, the space race was exclusively in the hands of the states, which were the only ones capable of assuming its enormous costs.

The unknown Soviet female cosmonaut who died on a mission: history or hoax?
The furthest car park: the three wheeled vehicles that were abandoned on the Moon

However, for some years now, some private companies in the United States have also joined the space race. One of them is the famous SpaceX of Elon Musk. One of the milestones of this company is called Crew Dragon, the first private manned spacecraft. Its first flight, without a crew, took place in March 2019. Its first manned flight was made in May 2020, with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

Artist's rendering of a Crew Dragon launch with a Falcon 9 rocket (Source: NASA Kennedy).

The purpose of this ship is to be able to transport people and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) , which, after the withdrawal of the NASA space shuttles, depended on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for these tasks. It should be noted that in addition to this manned ship, SpaceX's Dragon 2 program has another cargo-only variant, the Cargo Dragon.

A Crew Dragon spacecraft attached to a Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States (Photo:NASA Kennedy).

The dimensions of the Crew Dragon are 8.1 meters long and 4 meters in diameter. It has a weight of 9,525 kilograms and can carry up to 6,000 kg of cargo. It can carry a crew of up to 7 people, although a maximum of 4 is planned for NASA missions. Access to the ISS is through the nose of the ship. The Crew Dragon are launched using a Falcon 9 rocket, also designed by SpaceX.

NASA SpaceX Crew-6 mission astronauts in February 2023. From left to right, Andrey Fedyaev (Roscomos, Russia), Warren "Woody" Hoburg (NASA, USA), Stephen Bowen (NASA, USA) and Sultan Alneyadi, from the United Arab Emirates (Photo: NASA Kennedy).

So far a total of 8 Dragon 2 type ships have been built, of which 4 are Crew Dragon. The other four are 3 Cargo Dragon and an ECLSS test module. Active Crew Dragons are: C206 Endeavour, C207 Resilience, C210 Endurance, and C212 Freedom. So far there have been 13 launches of these ships: 8 by Crew Dragon and 5 by Cargo Dragon.

A recreation of a Crew Dragon approach to the ISS for docking (Source: NASA Kennedy).

If you want to know how these ships work, you can watch this video recently posted by Jared Owen in which he explains it in detail (the video has an audio track and English subtitles, you can activate them in the bottom bar of the player):


Main image: NASA Kennedy.

Don't miss the news and content that interest you. Receive the free daily newsletter in your email:

Opina sobre esta entrada:

Debes iniciar sesión para comentar. Pulsa aquí para iniciar sesión. Si aún no te has registrado, pulsa aquí para registrarte.