At the end of last week, SpaceX released official photos of Dragon's first excursion trip to Launch Complex 39A (Pad 39A) on its specially certified Falcon 9 Block 5, which showed what appeared to be a successful in-built review and an important predecessor. the first presentation of the first human vessel, estimated by human estimates.
Despite the apparent readiness of SpaceX hardware and facilities for this historic mission, the company was met with a brick wall that almost killed for almost an indefinite period against almost all of the front movements towards the first trip of the Dragon's crew to the orbit that appeared in the form of elected the leaders who are so unprepared have failed to adequately finance bureaucracies that support the vast majority of federal government for more than three weeks, including NASA.
Approximately one month from the first orbit of the Dragon crew of the year https://t.co/U01Oxu3M7E
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 5, 2019
NASA was heavily affected by the shutdown since it started on December 21, and since then it has been operating at only 5% of its capacity, which is merely the disgrace of the equivalent throwing of the key to the complex machine. Simply put, the entire agency is more or less at rest, with the exception of the most basic operations and the support of spacecraft and facilities that can not stop for the comfort of children's political gambling games. Among the parts affected by the agency are those involved in the certification part of the commercial crew program (CCP) and general software support, which directly means an almost indefinite break in the autonomous first Crew Dragon event, called DM-1.
Science finance agencies that are open: DOE, DOD and NIH.
Large affected: NSF, NIST, NOAA, NASA, EPA, USGS, FDA, Smithsonian, USDA@sciencemagazine has a brief overview of the impact of a shutdown for agencies with a scientific focus https://t.co/uAPz7AWoVT
– dr. Maryam Zaringhalam (@webmz_) January 5, 2019
Despite the ironic fact that their business is likely to be considered critical and, therefore, without the impact of a government shutdown, when proven and proclaimed the operational crews of SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, almost all program aspects of the commercial crew program do not currently belong to non-members-critical categories, since both providers are preparing for the first unsigned demonstration missions in orbit. These autonomous demonstration missions will immediately be followed by demonstration missions with crews in which the real NASA astronauts flew to the International Space Station before NASA finally completes the operational certification of Crew Dragon and Starliner.
Simultaneously ironic and very painful, the first operational launch with the crew is explicitly dependent on the certificates to immediately follow the crew demonstration creations, which in themselves are no less dependent on the acceptance of NASA certificates after the first unverified representation of each spacecraft. Any delay in non-priced demo runs at CCP will probably cause a delay of almost 1: 1 (if not worse) for the operational debut of both spacecraft that are already operating dangerously close to the edge of guaranteed access to the ISS, thanks to the extent of the delays caused by the technical challenges and slowness of NASA.
Impressive look at the crew Dragon (DM-1), Falcon 9 B1051 and its upper level. (SpaceX)
The integrated "stack" of the crew DM-1 first appeared in Pad 39A in the first few days of 2019. (SpaceX)
Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon vertically on Pad 39A. (SpaceX)
A view of the crew Dragon from a freshly installed crew to the crew at the 39A. (SpaceX)
NASA is currently relying entirely on contracts to launch the Russian space agency Rosycosmos "Soyuz" and spacecraft for the delivery of NASA astronauts to the ISS, and these contracts are expected to end in fairly permanent in November 2019, even though NASA's access to Soyuz Moglo could be pushed back by the first quarter of 2020. Finally, a month's delay at this stage, when Crew Dragon's debriefing could start, could lead to even more serious delays for the DM-2 and PCM-1 crew (certification mission) missions and after him who are all strongly depends on NASA, which has completed a large amount of documentation that is likely to take place at the moment, if 95% of agency staff did not dissolve.
Luckily, SpaceX could still carry out the dry Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon rollout at Pad 39A, which most likely serves as an integrated fit test for a missile, space and fresh infrastructure pad, which includes a brand-new Crew Access Arm (CAA) installed at the end in 2018. Although spectacular and obviously successful, it is undoubtedly difficult to ignore the closure of the government and the inevitable delay in the planning that will result.
SpaceX and its hardware are clearly ready for business – how long will we have to wait for elected US representatives to show a similar interest in doing their work?
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