Nasa has revealed the date when it will carry out a test launch of the first manned rocket to be built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

On January 7, 2019, a Falcon 9 will blast off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida with a new ‘Crew Dragon’ attached.

Although no humans will be on board for the flight, it’s an important test of Musk’s rocket scientists’ new design for a craft designed to carry astronauts.

Nasa wrote: ‘This will be the first uncrewed test flight of the Commercial Crew Program and will provide data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as on-orbit, docking and landing operations.

An artist’s impression of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket (Picture: Nasa)

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‘The flight test also will provide valuable data toward Nasa certifying SpaceX’s crew transportation system for carrying astronauts to and from the space station.’

Earlier this week, Nasa’s associate administrator for human exploration, William Gerstenmaier, confirmed that the agency is undertaking a safety review of SpaceX and Boeing as a result of Musk’s decision to smoke weed live on the internet.

The review will examine the ‘safety culture’, leadership and management style as well as its drugs policies.

‘If I see something that’s inappropriate, the key concern to me is what is the culture that led to that inappropriateness and is NASA involved in that,’ said Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine.





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