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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled for a first test flight this weekend. It’s an important step toward the company’s goal of transporting humans to space.
The flight is scheduled for 2:49 a.m. ET Saturday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Crew Dragon capsule will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket and fly to the International Space Station. It is expected to dock at ISS around 5:55 a.m. ET on Sunday and remain in orbit for a week. The spacecraft is scheduled to undock and splash down off the coast of Florida on March 8.
SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has been carrying cargo to the space station since 2012. But the company is testing a new version of the capsule outfitted to seat seven passengers that they hope to use for crewed missions in the future. The capsule sent to the space station Saturday will carry a dummy outfitted in SpaceX gear.
If all goes well, two astronauts will be aboard the next capsule flying as soon as July.
NASA announced last August nine astronauts assigned to four Commercial Crew flights aboard Boeing and SpaceX spacecraft.