SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to take test flight on January 7, 2019

Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has made rocket launches essential viewing, with a regular stream of dramatic successes and unfortunate failures. If you’ve been waiting to hear when the next must-watch SpaceX event will happen, then we have good news for you: the Crew Dragon capsule will be sent on its maiden test flight on January 7, 2019.

The Crew Dragon capsule has been in the works for several years, with the aim of eventually transporting astronauts to locations such as the International Space Station (ISS). The capsule includes seven seats for the crew to strap themselves safely into, and four windows to allow them to appreciate the incredible view from space.

The first flight of the Crew Dragon will be called the Demo-1, or DM-1 for short, and will be sent hurtling into the atmosphere atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch will take place from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, most famous for being the same launching site of the Apollo 11 mission that carried the first astronauts to the moon.

SpaceX have been in a race against rivals Boeing to launch the first privately owned crewed space mission. Boeing are working on their CST-100 Starliner commercial crew transportation craft with the aim for it to pull double duty: both shuttling NASA astronauts to the ISS and taking paying customers on low-Earth orbit trips to experience space firsthand. But Boeing’s craft isn’t ready for testing just yet — their first unmanned test flight is planned for March 2019.

Eventually, both SpaceX and Boeing will move onto manned test flights once the unmanned tests have been completed successfully. Both providers must demonstrate that their crafts are safe and functional before crew will be allowed to participate in the test flights. These manned flights are estimated to happen next year too: SpaceX plans to send our their manned test flight in June 2019 and Boeing plans to perform their test in August 2019.

The full test flight planning dates are below, as per NASA:

  • “Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): March 2019
  • Boeing Pad Abort Test: Between OFT and CFT
  • Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): August 2019
  • SpaceX Demo-1 (uncrewed): January 7, 2019
  • SpaceX In-Flight Abort Test: Between Demo-1 and Demo-2
  • SpaceX Demo-2 (crewed): June 2019″
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX nails its first launch and landing of 2019, but job cuts loom

SpaceX has nailed its first launch and landing of 2019 with a mission that deployed more satellites for Virginia-based Iridium Communications. But the success was soured somewhat by reports of upcoming job losses at the company.
Home Theater

Sonos teases Google Assistant integration once again at CES 2019

It's been a very long road for Sonos customers who have been patiently waiting for the company to make good on its promise to integrate Google Assistant into its platform. With a working demo at CES, it's now closer than ever.
Gaming

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

Video has been shared of a lander's-eye view of China's Chang'e 4 mission touching down in the Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon. The craft captured footage of the descent with a camera which was attached to the probe.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers for 2019

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? You totally can with these top-of-the-line drones

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.
Emerging Tech

Researchers discover a way to make 3D printing 100 times faster using light

Researchers at the University of Michigan have invented a new method of 3D printing which is up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D-printing processes. Here's how it works and why it could prove a game-changer for 3D printing.
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.