SpaceX conducted a static fire test of their human-rated Crew Dragon capsule on Wednesday near the company’s Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. The test was a major milestone for SpaceX, who is working towards restoring America’s crewed orbital launch capability.
Under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX, along with Boeing, are developing vehicles to transport American astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
With the static fire on Wednesday, SpaceX set out to prove that a problem which occurred during a similar test on April 20, 2019 had been fixed. The April test resulted in a catastrophic explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft.
During this week’s static fire test, Crew Dragon fired its SuperDraco engines as if it were to be performing an abort maneuver to get itself away from the launch vehicle in the event of a serious problem. Early indications are that everything went to plan during the test stand firing.
A slide from the Oct. 2019 NASA NAC meeting on the recovery from the April anomaly.
Wednesday’s test occurred just 207 days after the April anomaly, a quick turnaround time given the complexity of the systems at hand.
The incident earlier this year occurred just milliseconds ...