WASHINGTON — NASA is moving ahead with plans to launch a cargo version of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station next week as the investigation into an explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft continues.
During a previously scheduled media teleconference April 22 about the upcoming cargo mission to the station, designated CRS-17, NASA spokesman Josh Finch said that the mission remained scheduled for launch April 30 at 4:22 a.m. Eastern. Three days earlier, NASA moved the launch from April 26, citing “station and orbital mechanics constraints.”
NASA provided no updates during the briefing about the April 20 Crew Dragon anomaly that took place while testing the SuperDraco thrusters that are part of that spacecraft’s abort system. Finch referred reporters to the statement posted on social media shortly after the accident by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. SpaceX also has not provided any updates on the status of the investigation.
The incident, at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1, produced a large cloud visible for miles and reportedly caused major damage to the Crew Dragon spacecraft, the same one that flew the Demo-1 test flight to the ISS in March and was bring prepared for an in-flight abort test this summer. ...