SpaceX will stop making new Crew Dragon capsules. Here’s why

Two years after SpaceX flew its first astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) within the Crew Dragon capsule, the corporate has revealed its ending manufacturing of the spacecraft.

Speaking to Reuters this week, Space X president Gwynne Shotwell stated that there are at the moment no plans so as to add extra Crew Dragons to its present fleet of 4 capsules. However, the corporate will stick with it manufacturing elements for the prevailing Crew Dragon spacecraft as they will proceed for use for future house missions.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon approaching the International Space Station in April 2021, a day after launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA

The transfer to finish manufacturing of the Crew Dragon is reportedly due partly to the companys want to shift assets towards its next-generation Starship launch automobile — comprising the Super Heavy booster and Starship spacecraft — thats anticipated to start on lunar missions and even voyages to March within the coming years.

As Reuters factors out, the truth that SpaceX began life with the core goal of constructing spaceflight {hardware} able to getting used a number of occasions meant the corporate was at all times going to stop manufacturing the Crew Dragon sooner or later. Following flights, Crew Dragons are maintained and refurbished at a particular SpaceX facility on the Kennedy Space Center.

The four-seat Crew Dragon first flew to the house station in an uncrewed check flight in 2019. A yr later, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took the primary crewed flight to the ISS, carried into house by SpaceXs workhorse Falcon 9 rocket. Behnken gave a video tour of the Crew Dragon on their solution to the station.

The flight was historic for being the primary commercially constructed spacecraft to hold astronauts into orbit, and likewise for returning crewed missions to the US after an absence of practically a decade following the closure of the house shuttle program.

To date, Crew Dragon capsules have made 4 crewed journeys to and from the ISS, and one orbital journey in what was the primary house mission made up completely of non-professional astronauts.

The subsequent Crew Dragon mission is about for April 6 and will carry three house vacationers and a former NASA astronaut to the ISS for a keep of simply over per week. The extremely anticipated mission will be NASA and SpaceX’s first personal astronaut journey to the orbiting outpost, with every of the three personal residents reported to have paid round $55 million for the once-in-a-lifetime expertise.

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