SpaceX successfully tested its emergency escape system for NASA on Sunday morning which is said to be the last test for the company to complete that will allow the company to fly people to space later this year.
The in-flight abort test is specifically designed to keep people safe in case of an unlikely event of an emergency. In the test, SpaceX used it’s new Crew Dragon capsule, a passenger spacecraft that the company has been developing for NASA as part of its Commercial Crew program.
The Crew Dragon capsule equipped with eight SuperDraco engines that are designed to shoot if the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the capsule begins to experience any major breakdown. The SuperDraco engines can push the spacecraft up and away from the failing rocket and once the spacecraft is at a safe distance from the rocket it will deploy its four main parachutes and lower itself gently into the Atlantic Ocean.
In-Flight Abort Test:
At 10:30 AM ET on Sunday, SpaceX launched one of its used Falcon 9 rockets — which has been to space and back three times before — with a Crew Dragon on top from Cape Canaveral, Florida. At 84 seconds after launch, when the rocket and capsule were feeling the most stress during flight, the SuperDracos fired and the rocket’s main engines cut off. The Crew Dragon then went through the entire escape routine and successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean as planned.
SpaceX has earlier tested its escape system before this test but without the crew dragon capsule on land. However today’s test was proposed to test the escape system while the rocket is zooming to the sky.
With the successful completion of this test we are now hoping when the company will announce the date for the test launch with people on board.