This Sunday witnessed a SpaceX Crew Dragon launch for a high-altitude test of its launch escape system. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk described the in-flight abort test flight as “picture perfect”.
The resulting incredible photographs of the test suggest Elon Musk’s description was absolutely right.
It’s if truth be told gargantuan
Following a one day weather delay, a SpaceX Crew Dragon launched at 10.30am ET (2.30pm GMT).
The Crew Dragon was sitting on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as it took off from the NASA Kennedy Space Center’s iconic Launch Complex 39A.
The explosive test saw SpaceX intentionally blow up one of the Falcon 9 rockets.
This exercise was to prove the capsule could still safely return to Earth with its crew still aboard and unharmed if there were a launch anomaly.
The dry run saw the rocket explode, Crew Dragon’s parachutes open and the SpaceX pod return safely to Earth.
A visibly relieved Elon Musk was elated by the successful test mission.
He said: “I’m super fired up. This is great,” he said about the launch. “It’s if truth be told gargantuan.”
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The completion of this in-flight abort test is the final hurdle SpaceX had to overcome before cutting-edge space company can start planning to launch their first crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Elon Musk has previously announced the first astronauts to fly to space aboard Crew Dragon could make its inaugural flight in a matter of months.
Referring to the Spring timetable, Mr Musk said: ”We’re highly confident that the hardware will be ready in Q1, most likely end of February but no later than March.
“And we think it appears probable that the first crewed launch would occur in the second quarter.”
The Space founder also provided some data from the u-crewed in-flight abort test.
He said: “The peak lunge of Dragon one day of abort was bigger than double the wander of sound — it went to Mach 2.2 — and accomplished an altitude of 40km, or 131,000ft.
“I admire these are somewhat sharp specs — for this abort to admire gone bigger than three cases the altitude of a conventional airliner and to lunge that one and all in every of sudden some distance flung from the booster.
“The booster if truth be told exploded as expected, so that was very sharp.
“And Crew Dragon landed in quite excessive winds on the ocean stage, which I admire helps us envelope the mission for when it’s miles crewed.
“General, as some distance as we are in a position to speak up to now, it was a image-ultimate mission.
“It went as well to one could well almost definitely question. Right here’s a reflection of the dedication, of the exhausting work, of the SpaceX and NASA groups to get this design.”
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