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SpaceX Engine Test Demonstrates Pad Abort Test Profile

25 Mar 2015, 00:49 UTC
SpaceX Engine Test Demonstrates Pad Abort Test Profile
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SpaceX ignited two of its SuperDraco engines together at the company’s Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas, during a recent test of the reusable system. The firing was a demonstration of a pad abort test profile, with two SuperDraco engines igniting simultaneously and throttling as they will during an upcoming flight test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The SuperDraco system is integral to the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft under development to carry crew to the International Space Station. Four SuperDraco pods, with two engines in each for a total of eight engines, are to be arranged on the Crew Dragon. During launch and ascent into space, the thrusters would be called on to push the spacecraft and crew out of danger in case of an abort.
The pad abort test will be performed under the company’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA. However, SpaceX will use the data gathered during the development flight as it continues on the path to certification. Under a separate Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will certify SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Falcon 9 rocket, ground and mission operations systems to fly crews to and from the space ...

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