From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Demo 2 Mission
Mains level : Commercial crew programme by NASA
NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight will lift off for International Space Station (ISS) becoming the first crewed flight to launch from American soil since the conclusion of the space shuttle era in 2011.
We can get a match the pair type question in prelims asking various space missions and their purposes. Make note of similar space missions from here.
Q. Which of the following pair is/are correctly matched? (CSP 2014)
Spacecraft Purpose 1. Cassini-Huygens Orbiting the Venus and transmitting data to the Earth 2. Messenger Mapping and investigating the Mercury 3. Voyager 1 and 2 Exploring the outer solar system
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
Demo-2: What is the mission?
- The Demo-2 mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program with the aim of developing reliable and cost-effective access to and from the ISS.
- Essentially, the lift-off is a flight test to certify if SpaceX’s crew transportation system can be used to ferry crew to and from the space station regularly.
- After its launch, the Crew Dragon will perform a series of phasing manoeuvres to gradually approach and autonomously dock with the ISS.
- After docking, the two astronauts will go aboard the ISS. They will perform tests of the Crew Dragon and conduct research with Expedition 63, the space station crew currently in residence at ISS.
About the Commercial Crew Program
- The main objective of this program is to make access to space easier in terms of its cost, so that cargo and crew can be easily transported to and from the ISS, enabling greater scientific research.
- Secondly, by encouraging private companies such as Boeing and SpaceX to provide crew transportation NASA wants to focus on building spacecraft and rockets meant for deep space exploration missions.
- Boeing and SpaceX were selected by NASA in September 2014 to develop transportation systems meant to transfer crew from the US to the ISS.
- Space Exploration Technologies Corp., trading as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation Services Company headquartered in Hawthorne, California.
- It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars.
- SpaceX has developed several launch vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft.