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Star Stryder

Will the Boeing / SpaceX space race be fair?

22 Jan 2020, 01:45 UTC
Will the Boeing / SpaceX space race be fair?
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This Sunday, January 19, 2020, after multiple weather-related delays, SpaceX was able to launch a 3-time used Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A. Atop this rocket was a Crew Dragon capsule containing two mannequins and a whole lot of sensors. This wasn’t a normal launch; this was the inflight abort test many of us have been waiting months to see.

Less than 2 minutes after launch, and after sustaining Max Q (that point in flight when the rocket experiences maximum dynamic pressure), SpaceX had their Falcon 9 just… turn off. This had two effects. As planned, on board software correctly processed sensor and system data to recognize the problem, and released the Dragon Crew Capsule and fired its Draco Engines to get it the hell out of there. The next thing that happened was the unpowered and now unstable rocket, as planned, exploded in a very dramatic way. The jettisoned capsule accelerated away with a maximum acceleration of 3.4 g. This is significantly easier on the body than what astronauts experienced during a necessary abort of a Soyuz capsule in October 2018.

After the Crew Dragon reached a maximum altitude of around 25 miles or 40 km, ...

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