SpaceX Crew Dragon suffers 'anomaly' during engine testing

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 1, 2019

Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russian Federation about $80 million per seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz capsules - a fact that isn't very popular in the halls of Congress.

There were very few details available, however, SpaceX did release a statement to Space News.

A SpaceX capsule created to ferry Nasa astronauts to the International Space Station has suffered a failure during a USA engine test that sent a billowing plume of smoke into the air over Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SpaceX in a statement to UPI said, "Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting anomalies like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test". The U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing, which operates Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, confirmed there was an incident during a Crew Dragon test, which resulted in no injuries.

The SuperDraco engines power the capsule's launch abort system, which is created to propel astronauts away from the rocket in the case of a catastrophic launch failure.

First reported by Florida Today, around 3:30 p.m. EDT (19:30 GMT) April 20, 2019, a lot of orange and black smoke appeared over an area of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, specifically around SpaceX's Landing Zone 1.

Other reports, however, suggest that the test article was the Crew Dragon that flew a successful uncrewed mission to the space station and back last month. That test was supposed to take place in June, but it's not certain this will happen on schedule in light of the incident.

The Hawthorne-based rocket company had been conducting a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test capsule Saturday at the company's test stand at Cape Canaveral, a SpaceX representative said in a statement. "Our teams are investigating and working closely with our NASA partners". This is why we test.

Bridenstine tweeted that the nation's planned space missions with crews will move forward safely. The first demonstration flight under NASA's Commercial Crew Program launched on March 2.

The abort test will see a Falcon 9 rocket with a standard first stage and almost standard second stage - a dummy MVac engine being the notable difference - launch from Kennedy Space Center with the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

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