Monday, 24 February, 2020

Watch as SpaceX's newest spacecraft attempts to escape a fake rocket emergency

Crew Dragon C205 the capsule that will fly on the IFA being processed at a SpaceX facility at Capa Canaveral. Credit SpaceX Crew Dragon C205 the capsule that will fly on the IFA being processed at a SpaceX facility at Capa Canaveral. Credit SpaceX
Wilbert Douglas | 20 January, 2020, 00:38

Elon Musk's SpaceX will try again on Sunday to destroy one of its own rockets in a test of a crucial emergency abort system, a day after bad weather forced the company to delay its final milestone test before flying NASA astronauts from US soil. With the capsule no longer on top of the rocket, the top of the upper stage became "a big air scoop", he said.

"I'm super fired up", SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk told reporters.

On Sunday, Space X is releasing among its last large trip examinations for NASA, one that might eventually lead the way for the business to fly individuals to area later on this year.


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

The abort test will have two human dummies (anthropomorphic test devices) placed in the capsule that will give crucial data to NASA and SpaceX about how real astronauts would feel in the vehicle in the future Space.com reported.

The capsule reached a promising 27 miles before parachuting into the ocean just offshore of the Florida Space Coast, marking the nine-minute test flight as triumphant. The safety feature is designed as a precaution so that when SpaceX begins launching spacecraft with astronauts aboard, the company will have a means of propelling those on board away from the rocket to a safe distance if a catastrophic booster malfunction occurred. The previous month, only two of the Starliner's three parachutes deployed during a launch abort test. In 2018, a US astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut en route to the space station reported a problem with the rocket booster shortly after liftoff and relied on the Soyuz's launch escape system to make an emergency landing. Crew Dragon engines can propel it half a mile in just 7.5 seconds, exerting up to 4 Gs (4 times the force of Earth's gravity) on astronauts during this acceleration. NASA officials said that could happen as soon as March.


The Falcon 9 rocket lifted into a hazy sky at 10.30 am. Engines on the capsule have to fire with sufficient power to cause the capsule to accelerate away from a rocket that may still be accelerating itself, all without subjecting the crew to excessive forces.

The 9-minute test flight appeared to be a success, with no unexpected surprises. Under the terms of the contract, the companies own the spacecraft they develop; NASA simply pays for the astronauts' rides, as well as part of the capsule development. The rocket crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, destroyed beyond fix thanks to the capsule's thrusters and broken up as it tumbled through the air. "This is a test of a system that's supposed to protect our crews. a very important step in us making progress towards crew transportation to the International Space Station (ISS)". 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.


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