Crew Dragon Demo-1
Silhouette of Crew Dragon against the Earth's horizon, as it approaches the International Space Station
|Mission type||Test flight|
|Mission duration||6 days, 5 hours, 56 minutes, 5 seconds|
|Spacecraft type||Crew Dragon 2|
|Dry mass||6,350 kg (14,000 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||2 March 2019 07:49:03 (UTC)|
|Rocket||Falcon 9 Block 5|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39A|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||8 March 2019 13:45:08 (UTC)|
|Landing site||Atlantic Ocean|
|Docking with ISS|
|Docking port||Harmony forward|
|Docking date||3 March 2019 10:51 (UTC)|
|Undocking date||8 March 2019 7:32 (UTC)|
|Time docked||4 days, 20 hours, 41 minutes|
SpaceX insignia for the mission
Crew Dragon Demo-1, officially known as SpaceX Demo-1 and Crew Demo-1, was the first orbital test of the Dragon 2 spacecraft. This first spaceflight was an uncrewed mission that launched on March 2, 2019 at 07:49 AM UTC or 2:49 AM EST, and arrived at the International Space Station on March 3, a little over 24 hours after the launch. The mission ended following a successful splashdown on 8 March 2019 at 13:45 UTC or 8:45 AM EST.
On April 20, 2019, the capsule used on Crew Demo-1 was unexpectedly destroyed during a test of the SuperDraco engines at Landing Zone 1.
The spacecraft tested the approach and automated docking procedures with the International Space Station (ISS), consequent undocking from the ISS, full re-entry, splashdown and recovery steps to provide data requisite to subsequently qualify for flights transporting humans to the ISS. Life support systems were being monitored all along the test flight. The same capsule was to be re-used later for an in-flight abort test.
It was launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket contracted by NASA's commercial crew program. Initial plans had hoped to see CCDev2 flights as early as 2015. DM1 was eventually slated for no earlier than December 2016, and then delayed several times throughout 2017. The first exact date was published by NASA in November 2018 to be January 17, 2019, but this got pushed into February. The static fire took place on January 24, 2019 and the launch date was set to February 23, 2019. By the end of January, the launch was delayed to no earlier than March 2, 2019 according to a FCC filing by SpaceX for Dragon 2 capsule telemetry, tracking, and command.
DM-1 passed its Flight Readiness Review and Launch Readiness Review on February 22, 2019 and February 27, 2019 respectively.
The Falcon 9 with DM-1 rolled out to the LC-39A on February 28 at around 15:00 UTC and went vertical a few hours later. The spacecraft was launched on March 2, 2019 at 07:49 UTC and successfully docked to the ISS on March 3, 2019 at 10:51 UTC.
It successfully undocked from the ISS on March 8, 2019 at 7:31 UTC, performed entry into the Earth's atmosphere and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean later that day at 13:45 UTC. The capsule was recovered using SpaceX's recovery ship "Go Searcher" and was returned to the mainland where it was examined and the data collected by the on board sensors was analyzed.
Instead of carrying astronauts to the ISS, this flight had an Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD) wearing SpaceX's custom flight suit. The ATD is named Ripley, as a homage to Sigourney Weaver's character in the Alien movies franchise. The capsule was weighted similarly to missions with astronauts onboard and carried approximately 400 lb (180 kg) of supplies and equipment including a "super high tech zero-g indicator" (a plush toy). The "zero-g indicator" was left onboard the ISS after undocking, while Ripley returned safely to Earth on March 8, 2019.
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