SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft and Falcon 9 Rocket Prepped for Flight

Crew Dragon for DM-1 mission with Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are positioned at the company’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ahead of the Demo-1 flight test targeted for Jan. 17, 2019. The Demo-1 flight test is the precursor to the company’s Demo-2 flight test, which will fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Demo-2 is targeted for June 2019.

  • SamuelRoman13

    Where are the solar cells? Are they going to use batteries?

  • Robert G. Oler

    go go go

  • windbourne

    Covering the truck, but under cover.

  • Awwwww…. The Crew Dragon looks cute standing there! : )
    (Comment courtesy of my daughter, who is a dragon fanatic.)

  • Aerospike

    Not under cover!
    they are just on the other side:

    1/2 solar panels, 1/2 radiators

  • windbourne

    I thought it was all around the trunk, and that they simply have a cheap cover over them for launch. No?

  • savuporo

    This thing was supposed to be landing on Mars this year. Quite a distance to go

  • delphinus100

    That was pretty much my impression, too.

  • BeanCounterFromDownUnder

    That was Red Dragon not Crew Dragon. RD was cancelled when propulsive landing got the chop. IIRC they decided NASA’s certification process was going to take too long and that with BFR/S Dragon was a technology deadend.

  • Robert G. Oler


  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Look at the shiny solar panel photo again. It is the non-hatch side.

  • Kirk

    Solar cells on one side of the trunk, thermal radiator panels on the other.

  • Aerospike

    Nope. It is simply 50/50 for Crew Dragons trunk. Always been that way since the current design was revealed. Go back and watch the CGI from back then to see for yourself if you don’t believe me. 🙂

  • SamuelRoman13

    Ah. Solar cells on the Sun side, radiators on the dark side. No rotation to keep equal temps? Will the parachutes overheat since they are on the outside? They are protected by what, plasma on re-entry? How fast can they get to ISS? Soyuz is going to 3hrs from 6. 2 orbits. Maybe will not need those diapers. I have plenty of practice of that when they put a bag on me when my colon stopped up. No fun.

  • windbourne


  • windbourne

    yeah. I am surprised. Though Grateful that I was corrected.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Actually capsule technology like the outdated Boeing CST-100 has basically reached it limits even if you are still a fan of it. You need spacecraft that land at spaceports and not have to be fished out of the ocean like in the old Apollo era.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Remember it will spend a lot of time docked to the ISS. It’s a bit hard to rotate while docked. With the focus on Starship, Dragon2 is no longer anything but a taxi to fulfill its NASA contract to service the ISS.

  • Robert G. Oler

    I dont agree with that at all.

    First off the only vehicle in the commercial crew that has to be fished out of the water is Dragon2. Boeing lands on well the land

    second it is not clear that either the technology available at a reasonable acquisition price or the market will support any of that

    its not clear that there is a market for a “refurbishable” Falcon first stage…much less a 5-8 billion dollar BFR/BFS or whatever it is called.

    nothing that Musk has done so far has generated a new market product…the recent “small sat launch” was probably the last of its kind…the folks who put the payloads together probably did not make money