And here we again with yet another piece of news concerning the famous SpaceX! So, what amazing feat has this company that is being headed by Elon Musk performed this time? SpaceX has successfully completed a round of its Crew Dragon tests!
Yes, these are the same tests that ended up in an explosion the last company tried attempting them. SpaceX tried attempting a set of similar static fire engine tests back on April 20th of this year. However, admitted a few days later that the Crew Dragon Capsule used for the tests was destroyed. The explosion was blamed on a component that had leaked liquid oxidizer into the helium tubes that were high-pressured. The recent attempt at the static fire engine tests was pulled off without any kind of glitch, though.
The famed space company carried out the tests close to Landing Zone 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located in Florida. The tests were commenced with two one-second burns for two of the Crew Dragon’s 16 Draco thrusters. These thrusters will be eventually used for the sake of maneuvering and altitude control apart from the re-orientation of the spacecraft. The Crew Dragon team then proceeded to fire eight SuperDraco engines – that will eventually be responsible for accelerating the spacecraft away from its launch vehicle – for nine seconds.
Following these, the Draco thrusters and SuperDraco engines fired in the sequence that would have been implemented if the spacecraft had to re-orient itself in-flight for the sake of deploying its parachute and closing its flaps before it attempts a re-entry into the atmosphere. These tests will enable SpaceX and NASA with the validation of Crew Dragon’s launch escape system before the two conduct a planned in-flight demonstration of the same.
However, before this demonstration can happen, both SpaceX and NASA will need to carry out an analysis of the data obtained from these tests and also carry out hardware inspections while establishing a date for the in-flight abort test.