The team known as Demo 2 is working for a crew test flight to the International Space Station in April 2019 with two of the NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
Meanwhile, during the preparations being carried out for this test flight, NASA and SpaceX will work to complete and review analysis and tests which are related to this test flight.
There is a major question which program and company both are determining that whether astronauts will climb abroad the Crew Dragon Spacecraft before SpaceX fuels Falcon 9 rocket or after it.
Recently NASA took the decision to continue with the plan of SpaceX which is to fuel the rockets after the astronauts are at a desirable place. This agreement actually acts as the baseline for operation; it is totally dependent upon the final certification of operation by NASA.
SpaceX is working to test and qualify different components and systems of Falcon 9 rocket. NASA team is also going to review and evaluate system and components. Also, it will evaluate the SpaceX launch system overall. NASA team will continue to work and conduct their own independent analysis as well as testing to make sure all possible risk types have been either removed or accepted.
Manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program said that “To take this decision our team has thoroughly reviewed the entire ground operation of the SpaceX, launch vehicle design and the operational history as well”.
Also, some of the additional verification and demonstration activities like five crew loading demonstrations of Falcon 9 Block 5 will play important role in the final certification of plan.
Loading demonstration will verify the configuration and loading timeline of the crew before Demo-2. After all of these conditions are satisfied NASA will check any other possible risk before actually determining that system is ready and satisfied for flying with the crew.
If everything works well according to the plan on the launch day, helium will be loaded with composite overwrap pressure vessels of Falcon 9 which is known as COPVs. It will be first verified that it is in a stable configuration before astronauts actual arrive at the launch pad. Before two hours of the launch, astronauts will board the spacecraft. Once ground crews depart from the launch pad then after 38 minutes the escape systems will get activated.
Near about 35 minutes prior to launch, SpaceX launch controllers will begin loading densified liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene as well.