SpaceX manned Dragon spacecraft officially operational for first time, adding NASA and Japan’s JAXA astronauts

SpaceX is preparing for the astronauts’ first flight on a Dragon spacecraft. The flight, codenamed Demo-2, was technically the last demonstration mission required for a manned Dragon spacecraft to begin a routine flight with certification. But with some adjustments, astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will actually do some shift work on the International Space Station.

The first official mission code-named Crew-1 for the manned Dragon spacecraft, we now know more details about the crew on crew, including astronaut Hiroshi Noguchi from JAXA, Japan’s space agency, who has begun training. Noguchi has carried out two other missions before, including launching from the Russian Soyuz between 2009 and 2010. In 2005, Noguchi made two trips to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Discovery to help continue assembling the Station.

SpaceX and NASA are currently preparing for demo-1, which, as previously described, will be conducted sometime in mid-to-late May by two NASA astronauts. Once completed, the Crew-1 program consists of four members and is expected to begin in the second half of 2020. Crew-1 will include Noguchi, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover, and newly announced member Shannon Walker. NASA announced Tuesday that Shannon Walker is a new member of the team.

SpaceX manned Dragon spacecraft officially operational for first time, adding NASA and Japan's JAXA astronauts