NASA astronauts use touchscreens in a first aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 31, 2020 Published on May 31, 2020

US Astronauts aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon   -  Twitter via SpaceX

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley made history on Saturday in a landmark mission aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.

The astronauts in a first embarked upon a space mission abroad a privately-owned space vehicle. They also became the first group of astronauts to usee touch screens to manoeuvre the vehicle unlike the previous Mercury and Apollo missions by NASA.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has discarded the traditional manual controls and switches that were found on retired spacecraft used in earlier missions such as the Space Shuttle or the Apollo command modules, the Verge reported.

Instead, The Elon Musk-owned company’s vehicle Crew Dragon used for this mission, has three large touchscreen panels and a few spare buttons below, it said.

Most of the navigation of this vehicle is autonomous. However, for manually manoeuvring the vehicle, the astronauts will have to work with the touch screen panels.

Behnken and Hurley had tested the user interface of the panel on Saturday to ensure that everything was working and was in place. SpaceX had broadcast the footage of this test during its live stream.


SpaceX and Nasa on Saturday launched the two American astronauts into orbit from Florida using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft marking the space agency’s first spaceflight from US soil in almost a decade.

After spending a day in the orbit, the flight will be headed for NASA’s International Space Station.

Published on May 31, 2020
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