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    Launch of Unmanned US Dragon 2 Spacecraft to ISS Set for March 2 - Source

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The new US spacecraft Dragon 2 will be launched for an unmanned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 2, a source in the Russian space industry told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "The US side gave us information about the launch date of the unmanned spacecraft Dragon 2 to the ISS. It is March 2," the source said.

    In mid-January, a source told Sputnik that a manned Dragon 2 mission would fly to the ISS in July 2019 with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on board. Both the manned and unmanned flights will be tests. Once they are completed, the Dragon 2 will be certified by NASA for regular flights to the space station.

    READ MORE: US Cargo Spacecraft Dragon to Detach From ISS on Sunday — NASA

    In early January, NASA said that the first unmanned launch of the SpaceX-designed Dragon 2 to the ISS was planned for February. Sputnik's sources said that the start was initially scheduled for February 9 but was then postponed to February 16 and later February 23. A final launch date was scheduled for the first half of March.

    In 2012–2018, 17 Dragon cargo ships were launched to the ISS, with one of the missions ending in failure in 2015. SpaceX created the Dragon 2, which will fly to the station in two modifications, Crew Dragon 2 and Cargo Dragon 2 based on the original Dragon spacecraft.

    Another US spacecraft planned to be launched to the ISS, the Starliner, is being built by Boeing. According to a Sputnik source, its unmanned mission is scheduled to launch in May, while its manned mission will go up on August 27. NASA astronauts Michael Fincke and Nicole Aunapu Mann, as well as Boeing astronaut Christopher Ferguson will participate in the second flight. Both flights will be tests. Once they are completed, the Starliner will be certified by NASA for regular flights to the ISS.

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