The Crew Dragon by SpaceX has concluded the final leg of its historic first voyage. The capsule fitted with the ISS (International Space Station) via a “soft capture” with astronomers aboard the ISS unlocking the hatch. There was not much to welcome the ISS group this time around, as the trial flight only comprised the human-shaped Ripley test machine and 400lbs of supplies. Yet, it is a significant moment in Commercial Crew Program by NASA. Crew Dragon is planned to come to our planet soon, when it might drop into the Atlantic Ocean.
The first crewed flight is not projected to occur until July 2019, when Douglas Hurley and Bob Behnken from NASA will travel for a two-week test mission to the ISS. If everything goes well, it will represent the first human flight on an American spaceship since the Space Shuttle initiative might earlier in 2011. SpaceX will not have a monopoly when Boeing has its separate crewed capsule in development, but it can simply have the early bragging rights.
On a related note, the Cour des comptes, independent state auditor of France, earlier lifted worried about the feasibility of the Ariane 6 launcher—new rocket of Europe. In its 2019 yearly report, the auditor claimed that the France-located launch firm Arianespace is also being too careful as it struggles with rivals such as the US-located SpaceX. “In 2017, Arianespace lost worldwide leadership to the American firm SpaceX in the commercial sector,” the report claims. “This rival’s business framework is based on the advanced model of reusable rockets.”
The report talks about the capability for additional loss of revenues and market share against the rising rivalry from SpaceX and a worldwide drop in requirement for the blast off to geostationary orbit of commercial satellites. It also condemns the decisions European leaders took in 2014, when they opted for the design for the Ariane 6—its next-gen rocket.