The manned SpaceX flight would see the crew of The Dragon docking with the International Space Station which would serve as a significant landmark for Elon Musk’s private space travel division. One might say it’s a giant leap for Musk-kind.
SpaceX, which is arguably the coolest name for a private space-faring company, will soon launch a crew of actual humans into space aboard the company’s very own Dragon space shuttle. While we initially knew that SpaceX was planning to conduct its first manned launch sometime this year, it has now been confirmed that the working date will be 7th of May.
Eric Berger, over at Ars Technica, confirmed this by tweeting out the date for the manned mission but did caution that there might be a slight variability. “Working date for SpaceX’s Demo-2 launch is May 7. Dragon is in good shape. Launch date is fluid and mission may move into late April, or push later into May depending on a number of variables not hardware related. No final decision yet on duration.”
The confirmation of the manned flight comes roughly one year after SpaceX achieved the previous landmark of docking with the International Space Station for the first time. That test helped the team designing and piloting The Dragon confirm that the capsule could successfully separate from the Falcon 9 rocket and safely land in the Atlantic ocean if anything went wrong during the launch. Although the odds of that seem minimal, given that The Dragon has already passed extensive testing on its engines.
No doubt Elon Musk is proud of his space children who will be kitted out with some very cool looking space suits, if the simulated video is anything to go on. If this manned expedition goes well, I estimate that we’ll probably be ready to invade Mars next year. Seems soon, I know, but you know that Elon Musk. He’s a real persistent character.