Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

SpaceX completes emergency crew escape manoeuvre

SpaceX completes emergency crew escape manoeuvre

In an interaction with media he said that last night's test shows SpaceX can safetly abort a mission if something goes wrong after takeoff.

The Dragon coasted into a safe descent, jettisoned its "trunk", deployed its parachutes and splashed down in the Atlantic, about 20 miles offshore.

Still, Musk emphasized that this is a goal for considerably further out beyond Crew Dragon's actual start of service life, since it both requires NASA's buy-in and certification, and also requires that SpaceX actually demonstrate their ability to reliably catch the cargo fairing first.

NASA astronauts have not launched from the US since 2011 when the space shuttle program ended.

If it's going to be a longer duration, then we have to have some additional training for our astronauts to actually be prepared to do things on the International Space Station that we weren't planning to have that initial test crew necessarily do.

But Musk said he will treat people to a recital when Crew Dragon launches for the first time.

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"This was a test, but it looked lovely and now the real work begins", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. Back in February 2018, he noticed that SpaceX deliver Mr. Steven (presently Ms. Tree), meant to find parasailing fairing parts out of the air, "may have the option to do something very similar with Dragon - if NASA needs us to, we can attempt to get Dragon".

SpaceX said the capsule is created to escape from danger at any point during the rocket's journey to the upper atmosphere, not just in the first few minutes. "We test like we fly, and we want to practice like we fly".

The U.S. has been forced to rely on Russian Federation for rides to the International Space Station at $84million a seat. SpaceX and Boeing are part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which is seeking to contract human missions to low Earth orbit (like to the space station) to private companies, while the agency itself concentrates on building out architecture for deep space travel to the moon and Mars. "It went as well as one can possibly expect", Musk said at a press conference.

During the test the Falcon 9 rocket's boosters shut down in a mock failure that triggered Crew Dragon's so-called SuperDraco thrusters to jet itself away at supersonic speeds of up to 2400km/h.

"The past few days have been an incredible experience for us", says astronaut Doug Hurley. An investigation team is still looking into why the Starliner's automated timer was off by 11 hours during the December test flight.

SpaceX successfully tested the Crew Dragon's abort system in a simulated launch pad emergency in 2015, and Boeing ran a similar test of its CST-100 Starliner space taxi last November. Since then, the agency and both companies have suffered delays that have put the program more than two years behind schedule.

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