SpaceX Dragon 2

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The Crew Dragon spacecraft is a space capsule. In the picture it is approaching the ISS in 2019
A mock-up in 2018, of a Crew Dragon (spacecraft), behind four astronauts. (A mock-up is a model, used for teaching.)

SpaceX Dragon 2 is a class of reusable spacecraft created by American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX as the replacement to the Dragon 1 cargo spacecraft.

The spacecraft launches atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket and returns to Earth via an ocean splashdown. The spacecraft can dock itself to the International Space Station (ISS) instead of being berthed.

It has two versions; Crew Dragon, a human-rated capsule capable of carrying up to seven astronauts, and Cargo Dragon, an updated replacement for the original Dragon spacecraft.[1]

Crew Dragon is equipped with an integrated launch escape system in a set of four side thruster pods with two SuperDraco engines each. The spacecraft features redesigned solar arrays.

SpaceX plans to replace Dragon 2 with Starship.

The Cargo Dragon (spacecraft) is a space capsule. In the picture it is leaving the ISS, in 2021

List of flights[change | change source]

Launch dates are listed in UTC.

Crew Dragon flights[change | change source]

Mission Patch Space capsule[2] Launch date Landing date Description Crew Outcome
Test flights
Pad Abort Test DragonFly (prototype) 6 May 2015 6 May 2015 The test showed that the space capsule can escape quickly (from the rocket) if the rocket has a problem while it is still on the ground. The test was at Cape Canaveral, Florida.[3] No crew Success
Demo-1 C204 2 March 2019[4] 8 March 2019 Test flight of the capsule - without people in the capsule. No crew Success
In-Flight Abort Test C205 19 January 2020[5] 19 January 2020 [6] No crew Success
Demo-2 Crew Dragon Demo-2 Patch.png Endeavour 30 May 2020[7][8] 2 August 2020 Success

Operational flights

Crew-1 SpaceX Crew-1 logo.svg Resilience 16 November 2020[9][10] 2 May 2021[11] [12] [13] Success
Crew-2 SpaceX Crew-2 logo.png Endeavour[14] 23 April 2021[15] 9 November 2021 [16] [17] Success
Inspiration4 Resilience[20] 16 September 2021 [21] 18 September 2021 [22] [23] [24] Success


Flights (that are ongoing or) from 2022

Crew-3 SpaceX Crew-3 logo.svg Endurance 11 November 2021[25] The astronauts' scheduled return to Earth is, no earlier than April 29, 2022 Docked at ISS
Axiom-1 Resilience The flight is scheduled to start on March 31, 2022[27] The crew's scheduled return to Earth is on April 10, 2022.
Crew-4 SpaceX Crew 4 logo.png The flight is scheduled to start on 15 April 2022;[29] The crew's scheduled return to Earth is in 2022's fourth quarter. [30] United States Kjell Lindgren
United States Bob Hines[31][32][33]
Italy Samantha Cristoforetti[34][35]
United States Jessica Watkins[36]

Cargo Dragon flights[change | change source]

Mission Patch Space capsule[2] Launch date Landing date Description Crew Outcome
CRS-21 SpaceX CRS-21 Patch.png C208 6 December 2020 14 January 2021 First flight of Cargo Dragon 2, to ISS. The Nanoracks Bishop Airlock module was taken to the ISS along with 6,400 lb (2,900 kg) of cargo. Success
CRS-22 SpaceX CRS-22 Patch.png C209 3 June 2021 10 July 2021 Flight to the ISS; The solar arrays iROSA 1 and iROSA 2, were taken there Success
CRS-23 SpaceX CRS-23 Patch.png C208 29 August 2021, 07:14 UTC[37] 1 October 2021 Flight to the ISS Success
CRS-24 SpaceX CRS-24 Patch.png C209 21 December 2021, 10:07 UTC [37] 24 January 2021 Flight to the ISS Success
CRS-25 SpaceX CRS-25 Patch.png C208 The flight is scheduled to start in May 2022.[38] The flight will be the fifth Cargo Dragon 2 flight to the ISS;[39] will deliver iROSA 3 and iROSA 4

Design[change | change source]

Crew Dragon has eight SuperDraco engines, with each engine able to produce 71 kN (16,000 lbf) of thrust to be used for launch aborts (or giving up a a launch - after it has already started).[40] Each pod also contains four Draco thrusters that can be used for attitude control and orbital maneuvers (or using engines while already in an orbit). The SuperDraco engine combustion chamber is printed of Inconel, an alloy of nickel and iron, using a process of direct metal laser sintering.

References[change | change source]

  1. Audit of Commercial Resupply Services to the International Space Station. NASA. April 26, 2018. Report No. IG-18-016. Quote: "For SpaceX, certification of the company's unproven cargo version of its Dragon 2 spacecraft for CRS-2 missions carries risk while the company works to resolve ongoing concerns related to software traceability and systems engineering processes".
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Crew Dragon". Gunter's Space Page. Archived from the original on 16 July 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
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  17. Ralph, Eric. "SpaceX Dragon returns astronauts to Earth after record-breaking spaceflight". Teslarati. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
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  23. "Second phasing burn complete". Twitter. Archived from the original on 16 September 2021. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
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  30. "Boeing, SpaceX Secure Additional Crewed Missions Under NASA's Commercial Space Transport Program". Archived from the original on 22 December 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2019. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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  33. NASA Commercial Crew [@Commercial_Crew] (12 February 2021). "NASA astronauts @astro_kjell and Bob Hines have been assigned to launch on the agency's @SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the @Space_Station. The mission is expected to launch in 2022 from @NASAKennedy. Get to know more about the Crew-4 @NASA_Astronauts: t.co/p83i4IwpfQ t.co/a2Es9a8e3c" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 23 March 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021 – via Twitter.
  34. ESA [@esa] (28 May 2021). "ESA astronaut @AstroSamantha Cristoforetti is named to serve as @Space_Station commander on Expedition 68, following an in-principle agreement by international partners on 19 May 2021. As part of #Crew4, Samantha will fly on a @SpaceX #CrewDragon in 2022 👉t.co/XWin3BnInK t.co/kMtXswUvUD" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 9 June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021 – via Twitter.
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  36. "NASA Assigns Astronaut Jessica Watkins to NASA's SpaceX Crew-4 Mission".
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  40. Norris, Guy (30 May 2014). "SpaceX Unveils 'Step Change' Dragon 'V2'". Aviation Week. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Alongside the 3 other crew members, Megan McArthur is using the same seat of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour in this mission which her husband, Bob Behnken, used in SpaceX Demo-2 mission, the first mission of the Endeavour capsule.[18]
  2. The European Portion of SpaceX Crew-2 is called Mission Alpha, which is headed by Thomas Pesquet shown by the logo,
  3. The European Portion of SpaceX Crew-3 is called Mission Cosmic Kiss, which is headed by Matthias Maurer shown by the logo