SpaceX’s first crewed flight could happen on May 7February 16, 2020
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk last month said he expected the company’s first crewed mission to take place in the second quarter, or sometime between April and June. We now may have a more firm date, if one report proves accurate.
Ars Technica’s senior space editor, Eric Berger, said Monday on Twitter that the working date for SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission is May 7. Before marking your calendar with ink, however, Berger further notes that the launch date is fluid and could be moved up into late April or pushed back later into May depending on issues not related to hardware.
Berger said SpaceX also hasn’t decided on the duration of the test flight.
It’s been nearly one year – back in early March 2019 – since SpaceX first launched an unmanned crew capsule into orbit. Last month, the aerospace company successfully demonstrated the Crew Dragon’s launch escape capabilities. In the latter test, the capsule broke away from the Falcon 9 rocket and safely splashed down in the ocean.
A successful manned crew test would put the company one step closer to being able to conduct commercial flights for crew partner NASA. The US space agency, as you may recall, retired its Space Shuttle program in 2011 and has since relied on Russia’s Soyuz capsules to get Americans to and from the International Space Station.