Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

Pad 39A’s Next Launch Nears, As Key SpaceX Hardware Erected at Historic Site

Not since 8 July 2011 and the final launch of the Space Shuttle Program—during which Atlantis delivered the STS-135 crew of Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim to the International Space Station (ISS)—has Pad 39A resounded to the roar of rocket engines carrying humans into space. Last weekend, almost 19 months since NASA signed over to SpaceX control and oversight of the only launch facility from which humans departed Earth to physically touch the face of another world, the massive Transporter-Erector (TE) for future use by the Hawthorne, Calif.-based launch services organization was raised into position for two days of testing. In parallel developments, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) announced last Tuesday that SpaceX had completed testing of the SuperDraco launch-abort propulsion system for its Crew Dragon spacecraft, which is currently scheduled to support an unpiloted test flight in the fall of 2016.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.americaspace.com

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