SpaceX Plans to Put Humans into Space on 19th Falcon 9 Flight

SpaceX's Falcon 9 on the pad at Cape Canaveral. (Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX)
SpaceX's Falcon 9 on the pad at Cape Canaveral. (Credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX)

SpaceX Plans 17 More Flights Before Launching Humans
Aviation Week

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) says it will launch its Falcon 9 rocket at least 17 more times before it is ready to fly humans, with nine of those flights carrying the Dragon capsule it is developing for cargo missions to the International Space Station.

SpaceX says it needs to make only three modifications to the Dragon capsule it flew to orbit and recovered last month to be ready to deliver crew members to the station. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company has proposed a schedule for making those mods under the second round of NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDEV-2) effort, which hopes to award about $200 million in Space Act agreements running as long as 14 months by March.

Based on work started last summer, the company plans an internal pusher-type launch abort system that may someday double as a retro-rocket system for dry-land touchdowns.

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SpaceX Launch Manifest – Falcon 9

CustomerTarget Date*VehicleLaunch Site
NASA COTS – Demo 22011F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA COTS – Demo 32011F9/DragonCape Canaveral
MDA Corp. (Canada)2011Falcon 9Cape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flight 12011F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 22011F9/DragonCape Canaveral
DragonLab Mission 12012F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 32012F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 42012F9/DragonCape Canaveral
CONAE (Argentina)2012Falcon 9Vandenberg**
Spacecom (Israel)2012Falcon 9Cape Canaveral**
DragonLab Mission 22013F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 52013F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 62013F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 72013F9/DragonCape Canaveral
CONAE (Argentina)2013Falcon 9Vandenberg**
Space Systems/Loral2014Falcon 9Cape Canaveral**
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 82014F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 92014F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 102014F9/DragonCape Canaveral
Bigelow Aerospace2014Falcon 9Cape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 112015F9/DragonCape Canaveral
NASA Resupply to ISS – Flt 122015F9/DragonCape Canaveral
Iridium2015-2017Falcon 9Vandenberg

*Target date indicates hardware arrival at launch site
**Or Kwajalein, depending on range availability