Crew Dragon Overview Updated October 7, 2022

Crew Dragon

Sending humans to the International Space Station and beyond

See All Stories

41 'Crew Dragon' stories

March 2020 - October 2022

Crew Dragon is a reusable spacecraft that was developed and manufactured by private space company SpaceX. The spacecraft is a variant of the Dragon 2 platform, specifically designed to carry a crew into orbit or to the International Space Station. It stands at 26.7 feet tall and is equipped with 16 Draco thrusters, each capable of producing 90 pounds of force in the vacuum of space.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft made history in November 2020 when it successfully carried a crew of four to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Crew-1 mission. This achievement not only marked the first operational crewed flight for Crew Dragon, but it also marked the first crewed night launch from the United States in over ten years.

SpaceX plans to continue to use Crew Dragon to carry crews to the ISS, but the company also plans to use the spacecraft to carry space tourists into orbit in the future.



Watch NASA and SpaceX’s Crew 5 launch in slow motion [Video]

On Wednesday October 5, SpaceX and NASA launched another operational Crew mission to the International Space Station. This mission was particularly notable for being SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon mission to carry a Russian Cosmonaut.

Launch Spotlight: SpaceX Crew-5 – First Dragon launch with Russian Cosmonaut set for flight

SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 5, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. This launch will carry four astronauts, two NASA, one JAXA, and one Roscosmos to the International Space Station for Expedition 69.

NASA investigated water degradation in Crew-4’s heat shield, found okay to fly

Towards the start of this year, NASA’s Engineering and Safety Center assessed the previously flown Dragon Capsule heat shield structure for potential corrosion damage ahead of its flight on Crew-4. They found that corrosion degradation would occur up until launch, but signed off on the reuse of the structure.

Continue Reading

Polaris Dawn launch date could be December

Announced in February, Jared Issacman’s Polaris Program crew has been training for a flight on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft this year. At EAA’s AirVenture airshow this weekend, Issacman announced that the launch date for Polaris Dawn could be as soon as the end of this year.

Continue Reading

NASA comment on SpaceX Dragon heat shield [Update]

NASA has since responded, contradicting our reporting. NASA’s full comment below.

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has been very successful since its first crewed launch on Demo-2. While reuse is paramount to SpaceX’s mission, the Dragon capsule heat shield has started to cause issues once again that could put astronauts at risk. 

Continue Reading

Launch Spotlight: Crew-4 – SpaceX launches four astronauts to the ISS on new Dragon

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 27, 2022, at 3:52 a.m. EDT. This launch will carry four astronauts, three NASA, and one ESA to the International Space Station for Expedition 68.

Crew-4 Astronauts arrive at KSC ahead of launch to ISS later this week

In the early afternoon on Monday, April 18, the Crew-4 Astronauts, three NASA astronauts and an ESA astronaut, arrived at Kennedy Space Center ahead of their launch to the International Space Station scheduled for Saturday morning.

Continue Reading

SpaceX launches private astronauts to the Space Station on Axiom-1 mission

Axiom’s customer missions go beyond what suborbital tourist missions like New Shepard can offer. Riding in a SpaceX Dragon capsule, the Ax-1 crew is now on its way to the International Space Station after an on-time liftoff at 11:17 a.m. ET on Friday, April 8.

Continue Reading

SpaceX to halt production of Crew Dragon spacecrafts

Per a quote given to Reuters by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX will stop producing Crew Dragon spacecrafts and releasing resources that could be used for Starship development.

Continue Reading

Russian Cosmonaut will hop on the trampoline to space (SpaceX Dragon Capsule) next fall

The Russian space agency Roscosmos plans to send Cosmonaut Anna Kikina to space on a SpaceX Dragon Capsule next September.

Continue Reading

NASA intends to acquire three more crewed flights from SpaceX

With Boeing’s Starliner taking a few years longer than planned to get off the ground, NASA intends to purchase three more Crew Dragon flights to the ISS from SpaceX.

Continue Reading

Roscosmos and NASA in talks about adding commercial docking capability to Prichal

Roscosmos and NASA are in talks about the new Prichal docking module and allowing commercial spacecraft to dock to it, possibly relieving scheduling conflicts.

Continue Reading

Launch Thread: SpaceX to launch third ISS crew rotation mission for NASA [Update: Succesful launch]

SpaceX’s third operational mission with NASA of their Crew Dragon vehicle, Crew-3, is planning to take flight early Halloween morning. This mission will carry four astronauts, three NASA and one ESA, to the International Space Station with additional supplies and experiments. Learn more about SpaceX’s Crew-3 launch and view updates on its status below.

Date: Wednesday, November 10, 9:03:31 p.m EST

Continue Reading

SpaceX’s Crew-2 splashes down in the Gulf of Mexico after a six-month stay in space

Late Monday, SpaceX brought back Dragon Endeavour from its six-month stay at the International Space Station. Onboard were SpaceX’s Crew-2 astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet.

Continue Reading

NASA looking at returning Crew-2 before launch of next SpaceX crewed mission

NASA has delayed the launch of Crew-3 to no sooner than Monday, November 8, at 9:51 p.m. due to poor weather conditions locally and in abort zones. NASA also stated that they will now look at returning Crew-2 as soon as this Sunday, November 7, confirming our speculations earlier this week.

Continue Reading

SpaceX’s newest Crew Dragon now sports NASA’s iconic Worm logo

SpaceX moved the Falcon 9 rocket with its Crew Dragon Endurance to LC-39A ahead of its Crew-3 launch. The brand new Dragon spacecraft now sports NASA’s Worm logo just above its Super-Draco abort engines.

Continue Reading

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts arrive at Kennedy Space Center ahead of Halloween launch

SpaceX‘s Crew-3 mission for NASA’s Commerical Crew Program is scheduled for Halloween (October 31) at 2:21 a.m. EDT. Tuesday, they arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility ahead of this weekend’s launch.

Continue Reading

NASA reassigns Starliner crew members to SpaceX Crew-5 mission

NASA announced on Wednesday the first two members to fly on SpaceX‘s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station. The crew members were reassigned from Boeing’s planned first two flights on Starliner, which doesn’t seem to be launching anytime soon.

Continue Reading

Ovens, wifi, and toilets: Elon Musk promises these improvements on future SpaceX spaceflights

It’s hard to believe that SpaceX has only just started launching people to space, but that’s practically the case with just four crewed missions under their belt since last year. DM-2, Crew-1, and Crew-2 missions for NASA saw the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft send humans to the International Space Station. The journey inside Dragon wasn’t also the destination as it was for Inspiration4.

What changes when the experience in Dragon is tested by ordinary people for whom the SpaceX spacecraft is also the endpoint in space? SpaceX founder Elon Musk has weighed in with some early suggestions that range from cooking methods to waste management.

Continue Reading

Starlink connectivity coming to SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule, Starlink exiting beta, & more Elon tweets

Beyond sharing a photo of his new dog Floki, talking about UFOs, and stressing the importance of reusable rockets on Twitter this week, Elon has also shared new features, including Starlink, that will be coming to the Crew Dragon capsule.

Continue Reading

Inspiration4 crew scheduled to return from space today

In a tweet yesterday, SpaceX announced that Dragon Resilience, carrying the Inspiration4 crew, has a scheduled splashdown time after orbiting the Earth since Wednesday.

Continue Reading

Watch the Inspiration4 In-Flight update [Video]

Inspiration4 was just live with an update from in orbit. Don’t worry if you missed the live stream, an archive of it is still available on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.

How to keep track of Inspiration4’s progress while in orbit

Wednesday night we witnessed the first all civilian crew launch on a Falcon 9 rocket. Over the next three days, they will perform research and enjoy the views of Earth from an altitude of 580 km. Learn how to track Inspiration4’s Dragon spacecraft throughout their flight.

Continue Reading

Inspiration4 shares first look at cupola of the Dragon capsule

On Twitter today, Inspiration4 shared a first real look at the Dragon capsule’s cupola that will allow them to have an immersive view of the Earth below throughout the mission.

Continue Reading

Inspiration4 crew sign their booster as more flight training is underway for their launch

On Saturday, SpaceX and Inspiration4 both shared images of the crew signing their booster, after arriving for another week of training. The new tradition was started by the members of NASA’s Crew-2 mission, the first crew to fly on a flight-proven booster.

Continue Reading

A look back at Doug Hurley’s 21-year career as a NASA Astronaut

Friday, July 16th, NASA announced that veteran astronaut Doug Hurley will retire from his career within the Astronaut Office. Hurley’s career has spanned the retirement of the shuttle, activation of SpaceX’s dragon, and an overall change in NASA’s culture.

Continue Reading

NASA announces newest member to SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission

SpaceX is planning to launch their third operational mission for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program later this year and NASA has added the fourth and final seat to the flight.

Continue Reading

SpaceX Crew 2 astronauts arrive at a packed ISS

After a day of traveling in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, the Crew 2 astronauts docked with the International Space Station to begin their 6 months stay on the orbiting laboratory. This marked the first time two Crew Dragons were at the station at one time.

Continue Reading

[Gallery] SpaceX launches Crew 2 on a reflown booster and Crew Dragon capsule

On April 23rd, at 5:49 ET SpaceX launched a Dragon 2 Crew Capsule to the International Space Station.

Continue Reading

[Update: Launched] SpaceX to send second operational crewed mission to the space station

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule has been a huge success with the launch of DM-2 and Crew 1 for NASA last year. This year they have two more missions to launch crew rotations to the International Space Station under the Commercial Crew Program with the next coming up this week.

Date: Friday, April 23nd, 5:49 AM EDT

Continue Reading

Russia selects first candidate to likely fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon

During the Shuttle era, NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos worked out a deal to trade seats between the Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz capsule. When the Shuttle retired this deal went away and NASA had to now pay for each seat it was going to take up until NASA could get its Commerical Crew Program up and running.

Continue Reading

Commander Mike Hopkins sharing bunk inside SpaceX Crew Dragon cockpit with Baby Yoda

What’s a commander to do when there aren’t enough designated sleeping spots on the International Space Station? Bunk out in the docked SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule with Baby Yoda!

SpaceX launches first operational flight of Crew Dragon capsule with four astronauts bound for ISS

At 7:27 p.m. EST on Sunday, SpaceX launched astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi into space. This marks the first operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and the official transition to commercial transportation to the ISS for NASA. Since the end of the shuttle program in 2011, the U.S. has relied on leasing astronaut seats on Russian rockets to access space.

Continue Reading

[Update: New launch date] NASA targeting October 23 for SpaceX Crew-1 mission pending Crew Dragon certification

Remember the historic SpaceX rocket launch that sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station earlier this summer? After the successful demonstration mission, SpaceX is almost ready to start sending astronauts to space regularly through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Today, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the next date when SpaceX will send a crew to the ISS. NASA is targeting no earlier than October 23, 2020, for the upcoming SpaceX Crew-1 mission.

Continue Reading

SpaceX tracking footage captures the moment NASA astronauts splashed down in the Gulf

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley returned to Earth after a 64-day mission to the International Space Station on August 2, and we’re still seeing captivating footage of the astronauts’ journey home.

Watch SpaceX troubleshoot iPad issue with NASA astronauts using AirDrop during spaceflight

Law breaking boats weren’t the only surprises SpaceX experienced during an otherwise smooth NASA astronaut splashdown over the weekend. An issue involving a custom SpaceX app on the iPad also made a cameo appearance during the crewed return trip from the International Space Station to Earth.

Continue Reading

NASA astronauts returning to Earth from ISS in August after first crewed SpaceX launch in May

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will depart from the International Space Center in August after becoming the first humans to ever go to space in a SpaceX spacecraft. A successful splashdown will conclude the SpaceX Demo-2 crewed flight test mission to certify the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft for operational missions.

Continue Reading

Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft reach launchpad for milestone SpaceX mission

The days are counting down to when SpaceX will launch NASA astronauts to space for the first time in history. With under a week until the historic NASA Demo-2 mission kicks off, both the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft have arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Continue Reading

SpaceX tests your Crew Dragon docking skills with its addictive new simulator

What’s equal parts mesmerizing and terrifying? Manually docking the Crew Dragon to the International Space Station.

This week SpaceX released a simulator that puts you behind the Crew Dragon controls to experience docking first-hand.

Continue Reading

SpaceX prepares for return to human spaceflight from U.S. with 4K Crew Dragon anniversary footage

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is truly taking flight in 2020.

The major milestone on the horizon is the historic return of human spaceflight capabilities for the United States for the first time since the Space Shuttle Program ended almost a decade ago. We’ve been hitching a ride on Russian rockets since 2011.

SpaceX and Boeing are tasked with taking astronauts to space from American soil, and SpaceX appears best positioned to win the race.

The real prize, ultimately, is multiple American companies capable of human spaceflight.

A Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be launched in space on a Falcon 9 rocket later this year. SpaceX demonstrated its prerequisite launch one year ago today:

Continue Reading