FP TrendingJun 25, 2020 15:29:09 IST
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has said it will allow SpaceX to take astronauts into orbit on reused spaceships. This is something that the US space agency had earlier never permitted.
According to SpaceFlight Now, NASA has agreed to allow its astronauts to be ferried on reused Crew Dragon spaceships and Falcon 9 boosters.
The report further mentions the space agency has modified its $2.7 billion commercial crew contract with SpaceX to permit reuse of spacecraft and rocket hardware.
As per an interaction Josh Finch, a NASA spokesperson, had with SpaceFlight Now, he said, "Consistent with the public-private partnership strategy for the Commercial Crew Program, NASA specifies ‘what’ safety requirements must be met, and industry is free to propose ‘how’ to meet those requirements."
He added, "In this case, SpaceX has proposed to reuse future Falcon 9 and/or Crew Dragon systems or components for NASA missions to the International Space Station because they believe it will be beneficial from a safety and/or cost standpoint."
A disclosure dated 15 May that was posted on a federal government procurement website mentions NASA stating that the contract modification allows for the extension of the Crew Dragon's Demo-2 test flight from two weeks to up to 119 days.
The Crew Dragon recently launched with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marking the first time astronauts have been launched into orbit from US soil since 2011.
The report adds that once Hurley and Behnken return back to Earth, NASA will review the mission before giving SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule the agency's approval.
This will allow crewed missions to take place which will take astronauts to and from the space station during their shifts.
The missions will be referred to as Crew-1, Crew-2 etc and will see astronauts reuse SpaceX capsules for the first time.
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