The space capsule “Crew Dragon” will take off on 2 March – still without astronauts on board. Only one life-size doll will be on the test flight.

SpaceX Crew Dragon

The US space agency Nasa has given the green light for the first test flight of a new space capsule of the private company SpaceX for manned missions. As the Nasa announced on Friday, the space capsule “Crew Dragon” will launch on Saturday to the International Space Station ISS – but still without astronauts on board. Only one life-size doll will be on the test flight.

The NASA but wants to bring this year for the first time astronauts with a SpaceX rocket into space. SpaceX has already several times sent its space capsule “Dragon” to the ISS, but so far only with the material. Expected to be in July, astronauts aboard a “Crew Dragon” capsule, which is transported by a Falcon 9 rocket into space. Two astronauts are to participate in the mission to the ISS.

The test flight with a Falcon 9 rocket is now planned for 2 March, according to NASA. On March 3, the capsule is to dock at the ISS and return to Earth on March 8. “We are ready for take-off, we are ready for docking,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, who is responsible for manned spaceflight at NASA, at a press conference at the US Cape Canaveral spaceport in Florida.

The US space shuttle program was discontinued in 2011. Since then, US astronauts have only been able to reach the ISS with Russian Soyuz rockets. The contract with Russia expires in November. Then SpaceX and Boeing will take over.

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