NASA astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Bohnken paid a visit to Cape Carnaveral this week. They will ride the SpaceX crew capsule into orbit in May. Next week, astronauts will be in Houston, and they will continue their training for an extended stay on the ISS, which could last up to three months.
The team will continue its training even if we’re fighting a pandemic right now. Their launch in May still stands, even if it could be delayed because of the new coronavirus outbreak. They also want to test parachutes, and they want to take a look into the engine failure on the most recent SpaceX launch.
Both Hurley and Behnken were at Cape Canaveral this week, where they got into the Crew Dragon spaceship they will fly on the Demo-2 missions, which is the first mission from SpaceX to carry astronauts.
The event is called Crew Equipment Interface Test, or CEIT, and will allow astronauts to experience with the hardware that they use during their journey to the space station. CEIT also includes included flight suit leak checks, sound verification for the spacecraft, cargo bin inspections, and seat hardware rotations.
Next week, they will take part in space station systems training. They will resize their spacesuits in case they need to go spacewalking outside the space station.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated he was pretty confident that the launch will have to deal with a major delay. “We’re working through the coronavirus pandemic. We don’t know what the outcome is going to be … But if it gets delayed a little bit, we’re going to be OK with that.” he also stated that he felt really good about the progress of SpaceX’s testing of the Crew Dragon’s main parachutes. The latest design, that’s named Mark 3, completed 24 tests before one test anomaly took place on the 24th of March. But the problem stood in the test rig, and not in the parachutes themselves.