Updated SpaceX Commercial Crew Schedule

Dragon Version 2. (Credit: SpaceX)
Dragon Version 2. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX plans to conduct an automated flight test of its Dragon 2 crew spacecraft to the International Space Station in February 2018 , followed by a similar test with a crew four months later in June

That is the latest schedule presented to the NASA Advisory Council this week by agency officials. If the schedule holds and the tests go well, the Dragon 2 will be certified to carry astronauts to the station in September of next year.

In addition to the two flight tests, SpaceX will need to validate Dragon 2’s propulsion module, certify the parachute system, and conduct an in-flight abort test before it receives certification for the vehicle.

The updated schedule follows.

SpaceX Commercial Crew Remaining Milestones (July 2017)
No.DescriptionOriginal Contracted Estimated Completion Date
Expected Completion Date
1Crew 1 Mission Integration Review (MIR) Part 2. A review of mission integration for the first flight test.
August 2017
2Crew 2 Mission Integration Review Part 2. A review of mission integration for the second flight test.
 November 2017
3Flight Test Without Crew Certification Review Part 2. A review to certify the design and safety of the flight to the ISS without crew; complete all requirements for the Dragon-Falcon 9 Crew Vehicle, ground segment, and mission operation elements in preparation for a mission to the ISS without crew.
December 2015December 2017
4Demo 1 Flight to ISS Without Crew. To conduct a flight test of the Dragon-Falcon 9 Crew Vehicle without crew; to provide early demonstration and risk reduction of the Dragon-Falcon 9, ground segment, and mission operations elements.March 2016February 2018
5Validation Propulsion Module Testing Complete. Completion of propulsion module testing.
March 2018
6Parachute Qualification Complete. To conduct a series of tests on the parachute system in nominal and off-nominal configurations, enveloping conditions for abort and nominal entry scenarios.April 2016March 2018
7Design Certification Review. A review to demonstrate that the Crew Transportation System and operations meet all applicable requirements; demonstrate schedule performance; and define top safety, technical, cost, and schedule risks.July 2016March 2018
8In-Flight Abort Test. SpaceX will conduct an in-flight abort test of the Dragon spacecraft. The in-flight abort test will supplement the pad abort test and complete the corners-of-the-box stress cases. The in-flight abort scenario represents a Dragon abort while under propulsive flight of the launch vehicle during the worst-case dynamic loads on the CTS.April 2014April 2018
9Flight Test Readiness Review. A review to demonstrate readiness to conduct a crewed flight test and defines a risk baseline for crewed flight test activities.
September 2016April 2018
10Demo 2 Flight to ISS with Crew. Conduct a second test flight of the crew system, this time with crew, to provide an early demonstration and risk reduction of the system for operational missions.
October 2016June 2018
11Operational Readiness Review. A review to demonstrate that the Crew Transportation System characteristics and the procedures used in operations reflect the deployed state of the system; evaluation of all project and support hardware, software, personnel, and procedures to ensure flight and associated ground systems are in compliance with program requirements and constraints.January 2017August 2018
12Certification Review. A review in which the contractor provides evidence that the Crew Transportation System has met all NASA requirements and provides documentation of the crew safety and mission assurance risks.April 2017September 2018

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