SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule works well enough in orbit to give NASA confidence that the mission can last until August.
Ken Bowersox, NASA’s acting deputy administrator for research, said the agency is tracking the status of the capsule since launch on May 30 at Demo 2, which was attended by astronauts Bob Benken and Doug Hurley.
According to him, the agency at the start did not determine the duration of the mission, saying that it wants to see how Crew Dragon will show itself in space. “Crew Dragon is doing well, so we think it’s wise for the crew to stay at the station longer — a month or two,” Bowersox said.
The spacecraft can spend in orbit until only 119 days, the performance of its solar panels is a limiting factor.