Demo-2 is the final major test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station.
SpaceX is returning human spaceflight to the United States with one of the safest, most advanced systems ever built, and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America’s future in space exploration that lays the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Once in orbit, the crew and SpaceX mission control will verify the spacecraft is performing as intended by testing the environmental control and life support systems, the maneuvering thrusters, and thermal control systems, among other things. Crew Dragon will perform a series of phasing maneuvers to position itself for rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station.
The spacecraft is designed to do this autonomously but astronauts onboard the spacecraft and the Space Station will be diligently monitoring approach and docking and can take control of the spacecraft if necessary.
Upon conclusion of the mission, Crew Dragon will autonomously undock with the two astronauts onboard the spacecraft and depart the Space Station. After jettisoning the trunk and conducting its deorbit burn, which lasts approximately 12 minutes, Dragon will reenter Earth’s atmosphere.
Upon splashdown just off Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Dragon and the astronauts will be quickly recovered by SpaceX’s Go Navigator recovery vessel and returned to Cape Canaveral.