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SpaceX Crew Dragon could fly astronauts to the ISS in early 2020

As expected, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine visited SpaceX Headquarters in California and stood next to Elon Musk and two astronauts. You can watch the video of the entire session below, as posted in Bridenstine's Twitter feed but some of the highlights included comments on the Crew Dragon project and the progress made there. While the administrator emphasized the need for further testing and allowed the schedules to change based on what they find there, the capsule could be ready for its first test flight with crew "Demo-2" in the first quarter of 2020.

According to Elon Moschus drop tests, which will begin soon, the "Mark 3" parachute design will be evaluated, replacing nylon cords with stronger "Xylon" material. They also referred to the blast on the test bench earlier this year, when Bridenstine praised SpaceX's "fail fast" model as it included bug fixes before the missiles actually fly. Musk agreed and said that if things do not fail, you will not try hard enough. The explosion appeared to be related to a leak between the launch abatement system and the orbital maneuver system, reshaping the area.

Overall, everyone seems closer to the same page than in the past few weeks, but we'll be waiting to see if the Commercial Crew program will get going sooner rather than later.

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