NASA and SpaceX Aim to Blow Up Rocket During Test Next Week
NASA and SpaceX are gearing up for the Dragon rocket to blow up on 18 January, as part of an In-Flight Abort Test of the Crew Dragon.
It is one of the final major tests for SpaceX before NASA astronauts are able to fly on the spacecraft.
The Dragon's emergency escape system being tested
The test has been delayed for a week for additional "spacecraft processing," NASA said earlier in the week. NASA and SpaceX are testing the Dragon's emergency escape system. If that passes, it paves the way for Dragon to bring astronauts to space.
During the test, Crew Dragon is supposed to separate from Falcon 9, set off the SuperDraco engines to distance itself from the Crew Dragon and parachute into its landing in the ocean.
Following the In-Flight Abort, NET Jan 4th, Crew Dragon will splashdown ~31km downrange from the launchpad.— SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) December 14, 2019
The capsule will be recovered by GO Searcher and GO Navigator. The booster will not be recovered. https://t.co/ZbQh5C3B4U
The rocket will fly for more than a minute
The Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon will launch from Kennedy Space Station in Flordia, will fly for 88 seconds and then the test will begin. The Falcon 9 is expected to explore about 19 miles from the test site, reported TheNextWeb.
The report noted engineers are rooting for the Falcon 9 to have a fiery end to burn the remaining fuel before landing in the ocean.
You can catch the test at 8:00 a.m. ET on 18 January via live video streams offered by both NASA and SpaceX.