Last week, SpaceX performed a static fire test for its Falcon 9 that will support the company’s first-ever crewed mission. SpaceX representatives said that the static test was carried out at the company’s testing field in McGregor, Texas. In the SpaceX-launched crewed mission, two astronauts from NASA: Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be sent to ISS (the International Space Station) soon.
Around five years back, NASA signed multibillion-dollar contracts with Boeing and SpaceX for conducting commercial-crew launch missions. The space agency is entirely dependent on both the aerospace manufacturers to offer space transportation services. At present, Russian Soyuz spacecraft is performing transportation services for the crew since July 2011, after NASA withdrew its space shuttle fleet.
At the initial phase, SpaceX will employ Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule for this job, and Boeing will use its United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and CST-100 Starliner capsule.
In March 2019, SpaceX conducted an uncrewed test mission (Demo-1) in which Crew Dragon was successfully launched to the ISS. Next month, the company tested the same Crew Dragon and during Demo-2, the capsule was exploded.
Neither of the aerospace manufacturers revealed the expected time they would need to design appropriate launcher for crewed missions.
On a similar note, a European Earth-observation satellite was about to face collision with the SpaceX’s recently launched one of the satellites in Starlink constellation. So, the ESA’s Aeolus satellite followed an evasive pattern to avoid the collision.
The European satellite launched its jet engines, shifting its orbit to safely surpass Starlink 44 satellite, which is one of the first sixty SpaceX’s internet satellites.
At the time of collision alert, ESA approached to SpaceX to take some steps to avoid the collision. But SpaceX denied shifting its satellite, stated by the head of ESA’s Space Debris Office, Holger Krag.