SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship sits atop a Falcon 9 rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (SpaceX Photo)
SpaceX and NASA are planning a dress rehearsal for something they hope will never happen: a catastrophic failure at virtually the worst time in the launch of a crewed mission to the International Space Station.
Fortunately, the closest things to crew members on this in-flight abort test of the Crew Dragon spaceship are two test dummies, hooked up to sensors that will tell engineers how flesh-and-blood fliers would have weathered the aborted trip.
If all goes well, that should take care of the final major hurdle before two actual NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, ride a different Crew Dragon to the station and back later this year.
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