Science 2 min read

Musk Describes First SpaceX Manned Flight Test as "Dangerous"

After being delayed by the U.S government shutdown, the first SpaceX manned flight is set to launch next month. | Image By y6uca | Shutterstock

After being delayed by the U.S government shutdown, the first SpaceX manned flight is set to launch next month. | Image By y6uca | Shutterstock

With the first SpaceX manned flight just a month away, Elon Musk admits these tests are “especially dangerous”.

SpaceX has come a long way in just a short number of years. Since its founding, Elon Musk’s company has led the way in the world’s private spaceflight revolution. After dozens of successful tests of the Falcon 9 rocket, including one sending Musk’s Tesla into space, the company is now ready to launch a new family of rockets out of our atmosphere.

The first SpaceX manned flight has been in the works for a number of years now with this month set to be the first time these plans were put into practice.

Originally set to take place on January 17th, SpaceX planned to launch a new version of the Dragon shuttle into Earth’s atmosphere with the help of Falcon 9 rockets. However, due to the U.S governmental shutdown, SpaceX and NASA have been hamstrung in their operations. Now, only a skeleton staff are working at the agency, mostly without pay, to keep essential services working, including keeping the astronauts on the ISS alive.

Now, the first inaugural flight of the crewed spacecraft will launch next month. In a series of tweets, Elon Musk explained that the flight will be unmanned and is one of many tests before the first manned launch this summer.

Musk also admitted that the launch would be “especially dangerous”. The Dragon shuttle being used has been completely redesigned from previous models in order to cater for the astronauts on board. Over the next number of months, SpaceX and NASA will continue to test the shuttle and Falcon 9 rockets. The success of these flights is especially important to NASA as it will once again allow them to transport crew to the ISS and possibly even further afield.

The first SpaceX manned flight plans to send astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken into orbit this summer, depending on the success of next month’s inaugural launch.

Do you think that agencies like NASA should be exempt from government shutdowns?

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