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Even though it’s technically a demonstration, the stakes couldn’t be higher — SpaceX has a lot to prove here, and it bears the utmost responsibility in terms of keeping Behnken and Hurley safe for the duration of the mission. Which, it turns out, is actually going to be longer than originally planned: NASA says the mission will last anywhere between 30 days and 119 days, depending on a few different factors, the most significant of which being how quickly the agency ends up being able to launch the first operational Commercial Crew mission, Crew-1, which will carry four astronauts, including two from NASA and one from Japan’s space agency. The Crew Dragon used on this Demo mission could technically remain on orbit for over 200 days, but the purpose of this mission was not originally intended to be staffing the International Space Station, though that’s now part of the plan as a sort of stretch goal.

n

The teams also revealed today that the Crew Dragon used for Demo-1 will carry not only the astronauts, but also some cargo for the ISS. SpaceX also flies dedicated ISS resupply missions using its non-crew Dragon capsule, but this Crew Dragon will bring just a few additional supplies and scientific material along for the ride.n

In terms of timeline, the mission begins with a launch and ascent, followed by the second-stage separation (with Crew Dragon attached). The first-stage booster performs a flip and “boostback burn,” which sets it on its path to return to Earth for a powered landing. Meanwhile Dragon separates from the second stage in space, and heads on to the ISS, which it’ll reach in anywhere from between two and 48 hours after liftoff depending on the position of the space station at the time of launch.n

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nThe exact launch time could vary greatly depending on weather, and there are a number of launch opportunities in late May through June in case there’s a need to scrub. Weather during this time in Florida can be a bit hard to accurately predict, as noted by SpaceX’s head of commercial crew, and the conditions necessary to trigger a scrub are less severe than they would be for a mission where there aren’t any humans on board, out of an abundance of caution.n

Once the Crew Dragon is in space on its way to the ISS, however, the capsule will rendezvous with the station through a series of phased burns and then an approach, followed by an automated docking process once it reaches close proximity to the station. Crew Dragon has a fully automated docking process, and bypasses entirely even the need for astronauts on board the ISS to capture the spacecraft using the robotic Canadarm, which has been required for the older Dragon capsules and other astronaut-bearing Soyuz craft.n

""Once docked, Crew Dragon will pressurize and the hatch will open so the astronauts can board and carry on their mission with their colleagues on the station. On board the ISS, Benhken and Hurley will perform duties including conducting experiments and running maintenance on the orbital research platform, before they eventually depart by climbing back into Crew Dragon, undocking, jettisoning the “trunk” or cargo compartment of the capsule, performing a deorbit burn to get into reentry position and then deploying parachutes once in the Earth’s atmosphere to slow their final descent into the Atlantic Ocean. From departure to splashdown should take approximately 24 hours.n

""Other logistics details shared by the teams performing the mission include that the crew will enter a mandatory quarantine beginning on May 16 and lasting until the mission date, and that mission control crew who need to be on site for the launch will be observing a six-foot distancing rule because of COVID-19, and control stations have been arranged to make this possible.n

The mission itself doesn’t sound all that complex when broken down step-by-step, but it represents the culmination of years of hard work on both SpaceX and NASA’s part. The U.S. has been without a homegrown ride to the ISS since 2011, and this is the closest yet we’ve gotten to a return to an era of regular human spaceflight from American soil, so it’s definitely going to be something you’ll want to watch live when the launch happens on May 27.n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

NASA and SpaceX’s most defining moment of our current space era is coming up at the end of this month, with its Demo-2 mission on May 27. The mission will be the first-ever launch for SpaceX with humans on board, and for NASA, it’ll mark the first return to U.S.-based astronaut launches since the Shuttle […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:5302483,”featured_media”:1958922,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”categories”:[576702152,446313605,174,17396],”tags”:[412817,387037,9601187,1657,1117,2062,1836,21418,449560590,371748,449557049],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/spacex-commercial-crew-astronauts.jpg”,”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/2ylpuTA”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[“slug”:”spacex”,”cb_name”:”SpaceX”,”cb_slug”:”space-exploration-technologies-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies”,”slug”:”nasa”,”cb_name”:”NASA”,”cb_slug”:”nasa-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/nasa”],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[5302483],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1982750″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1982750″],”version-history”:[“count”:7,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1982750/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:1982831,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1982750/revisions/1982831″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/5302483″],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1982750&action=edit”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/5302483″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1958922″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1982750″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1982750″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1982750″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1982750″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1982750″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1982750″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:5302483,”name”:”Darrell Etherington”,”url”:””,”description”:”Writer covering space, science and health tech. Formerly covering automotive and mobility tech, and previously an employee of Apple and also of Shopify.”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/darrell-etherington/”,”slug”:”darrell-etherington”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/188039e12983eb749171a75cfd01378d?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”http://techcrunch.com”,”facebook”:”http://www.facebook.com/darrell.etherington”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/etherington”,”linkedin”:”http://www.linkedin.com/in/etherin”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/darrell-etherington”,”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

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Darrell Etherington is a Writer at TechCrunch, focused on science, space and health tech startups. 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Cuban: ‘Raising money isn’t an accomplishment, it’s an obligation’”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

Mark Cuban isn’t impressed that you’ve raised money.n

“If you think the accomplishment is raising money first, we’re probably not gonna get along,” said Cuban in an Extra Crunch Live interview. “If your orientation is ‘I got to raise the money first,’ you don’t really have a company yet, and you really haven’t accomplished anything yet. […] Sweat equity is the best equity.”n

We also got his take on today’s economy, the nation’s direction and his notes on what startups should do to survive in the new world. Happily, as we had an hour to chat, we managed to cover a lot of ground. The full conversation (YouTube) is after the jump, and we’ve excerpted a number of quotes for your perusal.n

But up top we wanted to share Cuban’s notes regarding which companies should accept Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds from the Small Business Administration. The matter became a hot-button issue in and around Silicon Valley, where initial debate centered around which startups could access the money. After it became clear the first installment of PPP funds wasn’t going to last, whether startups should access to the capital at all became a question. Some venture-backed companies even decided to return their PPP check.n

According to Cuban, when PPP was first put together, the market’s “perspective was that there’d be plenty of money for everybody. You know, people didn’t really want to do the math.” Cuban said that if there was $350 billion in the pot and one million small businesses, the fund would have worked out to $350,000 apiece. “Well guess what,” he said, “there are 30 million companies, [and] like 20 of them are independent contractors.”n

Once you did the calculations again with that many companies eligible for PPP funds, you could tell that the money wasn’t going to last. So Cuban told firms that he’s invested in where he has sway to “either not apply or just pay it back immediately.” Why? “For the betterment of the country and the economy,” he said, adding that “if you do have access to capital” or “your business isn’t dramatically impacted [then] let’s leave [the PPP money] for the people who need it the most.”n

As noted, the full video is below (you can join Extra Crunch here!), along with Cuban’s notes on startup advice during the pandemic, American 2.0 (and Marc Andreessen’s essay), AI, pre-seed companies, his future in politics and how to pitch him.n

Mark Cuban on the recordn

How he’s advising portfolio companies during the pandemic:n

So first and foremost, communicate. Second is be honest. Third is be transparent. And fourth is be authentic. Because everybody is nervous. Everybody is terrified at a certain level. So you just have to recognize that. People are going to need that honesty from you and people are going to want communications from you. That’s been the primary thing around what these companies should do.n

Regarding cutting costs: Every business is different. On the smallest ones, they’re already grinding, and it’s typically dependent on the founder. I’ve really tried to encourage people to keep all their employees on if at all possible. That there’s gonna be a lot of change and that’s going to create a lot of opportunity. So, if you can hold on to your employees and push forward in any way, shape, or form, you may have an opportunity.



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I'm a 50 year old PLC programmer from Burnley, UK. I severed my time as an electrician in the baking industry and soon got involved with the up and coming technology of PLC's. Initially this was all based in the Uk but as the years went by I have gradually worked my way around the globe. At first it was mainly Mitsubishi with a bit of Modicon thrown in but these days the industry leaders seem to be the Allen Bradley range of PLC and HMI’s.

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