Crew Dragon Demo-1

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Crew Dragon Demo-1
NASA Johnson 3.3-445A2747.jpg
Silhouette of Crew Dragon against the Earth's horizon, as it approaches the International Space Station
Mission type Test flight
COSPAR ID 2019-011A
SATCAT no. 44063
Mission duration 6 days, 5 hours, 56 minutes, 5 seconds
Orbits completed 62
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft C201
Spacecraft type Crew Dragon 2
Manufacturer SpaceX
Dry mass 6,350 kg (14,000 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date 2 March 2019 07:49:03 (UTC)
Rocket Falcon 9 Block 5
Launch site Kennedy LC-39A
End of mission
Landing date 8 March 2019 13:45:08 (UTC)[2]
Landing site Atlantic Ocean[2]
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 51.6 degrees
Docking with ISS
Docking port Harmony forward[3]
Docking date 3 March 2019 10:51 (UTC)[4][2]
Undocking date 8 March 2019 7:32 (UTC)[5][2]
Time docked 4 days, 20 hours, 41 minutes[2]
Crew Dragon Demo-1.png
SpaceX insignia for the mission  

Crew Dragon Demo-1, officially known as SpaceX Demo-1 and Crew Demo-1, was the first orbital test of the Dragon 2 spacecraft. This first spaceflight was an uncrewed mission that launched on 2 March 2019[6][7] at 07:49 UTC or 02:49 EST, and arrived at the International Space Station on March 3, a little over 24 hours after the launch. The mission ended following a successful splashdown on 8 March 2019 at 13:45 UTC or 08:45 EST.[8][9]

During a separate test, on 20 April 2019, the capsule used on Crew Demo-1 was unexpectedly destroyed when firing the SuperDraco engines at Landing Zone 1.[10]


The spacecraft tested the approach and automated docking procedures with the International Space Station (ISS), consequent undocking from the ISS, full re-entry, splashdown and recovery steps to provide data requisite to subsequently qualify for flights transporting humans to the ISS. Life support systems were being monitored all along the test flight.[11] The same capsule was to be re-used later for an in-flight abort test.[citation needed]

It was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket contracted by NASA's commercial crew program. Initial plans had hoped to see CCDev2 flights as early as 2015.[12] DM1 was eventually slated for no earlier than December 2016, and then delayed several times throughout 2017.[13][14][15] The first exact date was published by NASA in November 2018 to be January 17, 2019,[16] but this got pushed into February.[17] The static fire took place on January 24, 2019 and the launch date was set to February 23, 2019.[18] By the end of January, the launch was delayed to no earlier than March 2, 2019 according to a FCC filing by SpaceX for Dragon 2 capsule telemetry, tracking, and command.[6]

DM-1 passed its Flight Readiness Review and Launch Readiness Review on February 22, 2019 and February 27, 2019 respectively.[19]

The Falcon 9 with DM-1 rolled out to the LC-39A on February 28 at around 15:00 UTC and went vertical a few hours later.[20] The spacecraft was launched on March 2, 2019 at 07:49 UTC and successfully docked to the ISS on March 3, 2019 at 10:51 UTC.[21][22]

It successfully undocked from the ISS on March 8, 2019 at 7:31 UTC, performed entry into the Earth's atmosphere and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean later that day at 13:45 UTC.[9] The capsule was recovered using SpaceX's recovery ship "Go Searcher" and was returned to the mainland where it was examined and the data collected by the on board sensors was analyzed.[23][24]


Instead of carrying astronauts to the ISS, this flight had an Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) wearing SpaceX's custom flight suit. The ATD is named Ripley, as a homage to Sigourney Weaver's character in the Alien movies franchise. The capsule was weighted similarly to missions with astronauts onboard and carried approximately 400 lb (180 kg) of supplies and equipment including a "super high tech zero-g indicator" (a plush toy).[25][26][27][3] The "zero-g indicator" was left onboard the ISS after undocking, while Ripley returned safely to Earth on March 8, 2019.


See also


  1. ^ "Environmental assessment of Dragonfly vehicle 2014" (PDF). FAA.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Commercial Crew Program American Rockets American Spacecraft American Soil" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b "NASA, SpaceX Launch First Flight Test of Space System Designed for Crew". NASA. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  4. ^ Harwood, William. "NASA, SpaceX clear Crew Dragon for critical March 2 test flight". CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  5. ^ Grush, Loren. "NASA gives SpaceX the okay to launch new passenger spacecraft on uncrewed test flight". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Space Exploration Technologies Corp. WF9XGI 0068-EX-ST-2019 FCC Experimental License". Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  7. ^ "February 6, 2019 – Commercial Crew Program". Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b "Crew Dragon's inaugural flight to Station concludes with splashdown –". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  10. ^ Berger, Eric (22 April 2019). "Here's what we know, and what we don't, about the Crew Dragon accident". Ars Technica. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  11. ^ Foust, Jeff (February 4, 2016). "SpaceX seeks to accelerate Falcon 9 production and launch rates this year". SpaceNews. Retrieved March 21, 2016. Shotwell said the company is planning an in-flight abort test of the Crew Dragon spacecraft before the end of this year, where the vehicle uses its thrusters to separate from a Falcon 9 rocket during ascent. That will be followed in 2017 by two demonstration flights to the International Space Station, the first without a crew and the second with astronauts on board, and then the first operational mission.
  12. ^ Richardson, Derek (5 January 2019). "Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon vertical at Launch Complex 39A". SpaceFlight Insider. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  13. ^ "First SpaceX commercial crew test flight could slip to 2019". 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  14. ^ "SpaceX delays commercial crew test flights to latter half of 2018". 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  15. ^ "Report warns of additional commercial crew delays". 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  16. ^ "NASA Invites Media to SpaceX Demo-1 Launch" (Press release). NASA. 21 November 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  17. ^ "SpaceX Demo-1 Launch Update". NASA Commercial Crew Program Blog. January 10, 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  18. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Falcon 9 rocket fires engines in key test ahead of Crew Dragon demo flight – Spaceflight Now". Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  19. ^ Ralph, Eric (2019-02-28). "SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 head to Pad 39A for historic launch debut". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  20. ^ Clark, Stephen. "SpaceX's Crew Dragon rolls out for test flight – Spaceflight Now". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  21. ^ "Crew Dragon successfully conducts debut docking with the ISS –". Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  22. ^ "Demo-1 Underway: Crew Dragon Launches on Debut Flight – Commercial Crew Program". Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  23. ^ Mission SpX-DM1 accomplished: the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft has come back to Earth. Massimo Luciani, Tachyon Beam. 8 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Crew Dragon Lifted Onto Recovery Ship – Commercial Crew Program". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  25. ^ Grush, Loren (2019-02-22). "NASA gives SpaceX the okay to launch new passenger spacecraft on uncrewed test flight". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  26. ^ Boyle, Alan. "NASA, SpaceX and a test dummy are ready for Dragon 2's first trip to space station". GeekWire. GeekWire, LLC. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  27. ^ Bartels, Meghan. "Meet Ripley, SpaceX's Dummy Astronaut Riding on Crew Dragon Test Flight". Retrieved 1 March 2019.

External links

  • Crew Demo-1 Mission press kit (Archived 2 March 2019)
  • Dragon at SpaceX (Archived 2 March 2019)
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