SpaceX and NASA held a news conference to discuss the mission and follow-up plans following the successful testing of the manned Dragon spacecraft’s launch abort system on Sunday,media TechCrunch reported. The first question asked by the media was what the test would mean for the actual schedule of missions carrying astronauts, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk provided an answer outlining a rough timeline of events.
“We are confident that the hardware required for the first manned launch will be ready by the end of February,” he said. However, once the hardware is ready, all content needs to be cross-checked, triple checked, quad checked, and there is still a lot of work to be done to check everything again. Then there is the timetable for reaching the International Space Station, as there is still much to do to get to the International Space Station. So when is the right time? The collective wisdom at this point is that we think the hardware will be ready in the first quarter, probably in February, but no later than March, and we think the first manned launch is likely to take place in the second quarter. “
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein offered a further view from the agency’s perspective, noting that the first manned mission may have some variable parameters that could change the actual flight time.
“I think it’s a very fair assessment,” Mr Brydonstein said. I would also like to point out that we have to make some decisions from NASA’s perspective. Do we want the first manned mission to be a short-lived mission, or is it a longer-duration mission? If we want to last longer, then we have to do some extra training for the astronauts so that they are really ready to do what we don’t intend to have the original testers do on the International Space Station. “
Bradenstin added that these decisions will be made “in the coming weeks” and depend sit on whether they choose to use the first manned mission as a fast trip or a longer mission to carry out more goals, so the mission time may change due to planning and training requirements for astronauts.