According to Reuters, SpaceX will stop production new ships Crew Dragon, right after completing the fourth (and therefore the last) of them. However, the private space company, owned by Elon Musk, said after the report said it would continue production components for spacecraft and that it retains i capacity to produce additional ships Crew Dragonif production were to be resumed later.
As it may seem at first glance, this is not really shocking news. Due to the possibility of Crew Dragon use repeatedly from the beginning, SpaceX was assumed to produce only limited count of these spaceships, but to date it is not known how many will eventually be.
Since its first manned flight in 2020, the Crew Dragon has launched a total of five crews, including the first fully civilian crew at the end of last year. As part of the ongoing Commercial Crew program, NASA planned to use the ship as well to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in six separate missions. However, she recently said that due to delays associated with Boeing’s Starliner, the Crew Dragon will only be used for the next three years.
The cessation of production of the Crew Dragon came at a time when SpaceX is trying to certify and put its own into operation a new generation of reusable Starship missiles. This spacecraft is a key part of all of SpaceX’s plans for missions to the Moon and Mars. After several delays, Elon Musk said the company hoped to conduct the first Starship orbital test in May 2022.