NASA Rehearses Astronaut Launch — and Rescue — with SpaceX, Boeing (Photos)

Space.com | 8/13/2019 | Elizabeth Howell
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Both SpaceX and Boeing are busily preparing for the first crewed launches of their commercial spacecraft, and in case something goes wrong, they're simulating different types of emergencies.

The companies are contracted under NASA to provide commercial crew spacecraft for missions to the International Space Station (ISS) to supplement the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that is currently used for all ISS launches, which blast off from a facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The first commercial crew astronauts will fly late this year or sometime in 2020, if all goes according to plan. SpaceX and Boeing will each launch their spacecraft from Florida, marking the first time American astronauts have launched from their home country since the last space shuttle mission in 2011.

SpaceX - NASA - Launch - Crew - Dragon

SpaceX and NASA geared up for the first launch of a Crew Dragon with astronauts aboard with a dress rehearsal of launch day — including simulated emergencies. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who will fly the first Crew Dragon mission, practiced suiting up in a SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, California, with SpaceX's ground closeout team. The NASA and SpaceX teams did a simulated launch countdown, as well as several emergency launch scenarios, which is common practice for all astronauts preparing for spaceflight.

Some of Boeing's first CST-100 Starliner crew also conducted emergency launch scenarios at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, who will be on the first Starliner crew, participated in the exercise, as well as Eric Boe (who initially was assigned to a Starliner mission, but pulled for medical reasons in January) and astronaut candidate Jasmin Moghbeli (who is completing certification exercises to qualify for future spaceflights).

Astronauts - Ground - Personnel - Set - Procedures

The astronauts and ground personnel followed a complicated set of procedures to practice safety in the event of a sudden emergency on the...
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