Skip to main content

Watch SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule sail through its habitability test

NASA has completed a habitability assessment of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to check that it can comfortably carry more than two astronauts on future missions.

The Crew Dragon arrived at the International Space Station at the end of May carrying NASA’s Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in a mission that marked the first crewed use of the capsule.

During the assessment, NASA’s Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin joined Hurley and Behnken inside the capsule, and together they were able to show there was still enough room to easily perform all of the necessary tasks associated with a regular mission.

The successful test means that barring any major issues, the Crew Dragon will fly four astronauts to the space station in September 2020. The capsule, which could eventually carry up to seven people, will also be used for upcoming space tourism flights.

The assessment exercise was carried out earlier this month, with NASA releasing an edited video (below) of the task on YouTube on Tuesday, July 21.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Flies Through Habitability Testing

Additional tests

As this is only the Crew Dragon’s second time in space after its debut flight in 2019 as part of a crewless test mission to the space station, Hurley and Behnken have also been tasked with carrying out a range of additional tests on the capsule to ensure that all of its features operate as they should in a space environment.

These have included confirming the safety of the capsule’s entry/exit hatch, ensuring the reliability of the waste system, and checking there’s adequate space for any necessary cargo.

NASA officials are aiming for Hurley and Behnken to depart the ISS aboard the Crew Dragon on August 1, with splashdown expected the following day, likely in the Atlantic Ocean.

For another view inside the Crew Dragon, check out the personal tour that Behnken gave on the outward journey.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Watch SpaceX’s Starship burn brightly as it hurtles toward Earth
SpaceX's Starship reentering Earth's atmosphere.

SpaceX surprised a lot of people on Thursday morning when its mighty Starship rocket managed not to blow up seconds after liftoff.

The Starship -- comprising the first-stage Super Heavy booster and upper-stage Starship spacecraft -- enjoyed its most successful test flight yet following two short-lived missions in April and November last year.

Read more
SpaceX’s Starship reaches orbit on third test flight
spacex starship third test flight screenshot 2024 03 14 143605

SpaceX's mighty Starship rocket has made it into space on its third test flight. The rocket, launched at 9:25 a.m. ET today, March 14, took to the skies over the Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, and made it to orbit but was lost before the planned splashdown in the India Ocean.

The vehicle consists of the lower section, the Super Heavy booster, and the upper section, the Starship or ship. The two were stacked together ahead of today's flight and achieved separation a few minutes after launch. This tricky maneuver involves cutting off most of the booster's 33 Raptor engines and disengaging clamps connecting the booster to the ship. The ship then fires its own engines to head onward into orbit.

Read more
Watch SpaceX’s cinematic video previewing Starship megarocket test
spacex cinematic video previews starship test

After a long wait, SpaceX has finally received permission to launch the third test flight of the Starship, the most powerful rocket ever to have flown.

This means that SpaceX can proceed with its originally stated plan to launch the Starship -- comprising the first-stage Super Heavy booster and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft -- on Thursday, March 14. Digital Trends has all the information you need to watch a live stream of what promises to be a spectacular event.

Read more