In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA will work with SpaceX to investigate an engine anomaly on the Falcon 9. Meanwhile, a drop test of the Dragon 2 parachute system goes awry prior to the system test. Both issues must be resolved prior to Demo 2, a planned test flight to the ISS with crew. Mercury may have hosted subsurface water and other ingredients for life.
Human Space Exploration
NASA to participate in SpaceX engine anomaly investigationSpaceNews.com (3/24): NASA Commercial Crew Program representatives will participate in an investigation into a Falcon 9 engine anomaly during a March 18 Falcon 9 launch of 60 Starlink satellites. Although the launch succeeded, one of nine first stage engines shutdown prematurely. NASA will participate as part of its contract with SpaceX for development of the Dragon 2/Falcon 9 for the regularly scheduled transportation of astronauts to and from the ISS. The incident could affect launch plans by SpaceX for Demo-2, a crewed flight test of the Dragon 2 capsule to the ISS anticipated for no earlier than May.
Another hiccup for SpaceX on the road to Demo-2Spacepolicyonline.com (3/24): SpaceX notified NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Tuesday following a difficulty during a helicopter borne parachute drop test ...