SpaceX’s Crew Dragon becomes America’s longest-running astronaut spacecraft

SpaceX's Crew Dragon becomes America's longest-running astronaut spacecraft

SpaceX’s crew dragon is the only American spacecraft ever officially built, breaking the 84-day record set by Skylop-4 during the Apollo era nearly half a century ago.

The Crew Dragon was able to beat that record very quickly because NASA decided to exploit the current knowledge, productivity and budget of the Saturn Rocket and Apollo CSM spacecraft to take advantage of the space shuttle program. To be recycled quickly and economically, numerous obligations on the part of the team, budget deficiencies and planning errors led to a bus that was too complex, unsafe, only partially reusable and less suitable for most tasks. Saturn is more expensive to start than V.

The spacecraft was eventually the beast of modification and “reuse”, which often required complete disassembly and assembly, as well as extensive refurbishment of most mechanical components. Due to these serious failures and a catastrophic launch failure five years after launch, the spacecraft was far from realizing its limited but still robust potential, including a maximum of two weeks of orbital life.

The Skylop-4 Command and Service Module (CSM) spacecraft was photographed during an EVA in February 1974. (NASA)
The privately-created SpaceX Crew Dragon has now recorded a new longevity for the American manned spacecraft. (NASA)

As a result, NASA switched from Saturn I, Saturn V, and CSM – which made it possible to launch space stations, crew, and several months into the Apollo program – an anchor that tore the population back into space agency Agency Earth Orbit (Leo)’s ambitions. In order to protect the spacecraft, NASA joined an international effort to build the International Space Station (ISS), which supported the space shuttle, which launched dozens of missiles, components and consumables.

However, if NASA were able to pursue the Skylab program with Saturn and CSM, a space station with a life size similar to ISS could have been completed in 2021 in just three launches, compared to less than 30 launches.

After all, after 47 years of unfortunate and unnecessary breakthrough – funded by NASA – SpaceX has brought the space agency and the United States back into the envelope tradition. After 20 successful cargo dragon missions from ISS over the past 9 years, all of which have been in orbit for about a month, with SpaceX’s third Crew Dragon launch already breaking the US record for the longest life of the spacecraft. Ready to double by the end of the mission.

Crew Dragon’s Crew 1 astronauts celebrated a milestone in orbit (almost though) with Ed Gibson, one of the three astronauts who set the Skylab-4 record 47 years ago. In addition, Skylop-4 and SpaceX Crew-1 were launched on almost the same day, which means that tomorrow (February 8) will be the 47th anniversary of Skylop-4 Mission Reindeer and Splash.

In August 2020, SpaceX successfully sent two NASA astronauts back to Earth. (NASA / SpaceX)

Overall, all Crew Dragon operational missions – the Crew-1 primary – must spend about 180 days in orbit between launch and re-entry. First American spacecraft (and first private spacecraft) Try Apparently, with such a long space flight, some uncertainty, there is no guarantee that this first attempt will not be abandoned. However, there are contradictions in favor of SpaceX, with the crew leaving the Dragon C207 capsule ISS steadily and safely returning a crew of four astronauts to Earth in May 2021.

The Crew Dragon carries two people and floats to Earth under four large parachutes. (NASA / Bill Ingols)
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About the Author: Nathaniel Marrow

Explorer. Entrepreneur. Devoted coffee enthusiast. Avid bacon geek. Lifelong internet nerd.

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