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SpaceX "Anomaly" could delay manned space flight



On Saturday, April 20, something bad happened to SpaceX's Crew Dragon Crew Dragon. We still do not know exactly what happened. But at least we know more now than last month.

Eyewitness accounts at the time of the incident referred to "smoke" over the Florida coast. NASA and SpaceX published statements that refer to an "anomaly". News agencies reported an explosion. Finally, a leaked video of the incident revealed that the spacecraft SpaceX Crew Dragon suddenly broke into a flame ball on its test bench.

Initially, SpaceX and NASA refused to provide much information about the anomaly, the smoke or, in particular, the explosion. Ultimately, this leaked video must have persuaded SpaceX and NASA to tear down the bandage and confirm what many had already expected: Crew Dragon exploded.

Artistic illustration of SpaceX Crew Dragon docking with the International Space Station

Source: SpaceX.

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In a public statement last week, SpaceX Vice President of Mission Insurance Hans Koenigsmann described how the Crew Dragon on a test rig in Florida had successfully tested their Draco maneuver engines twice. She was just preparing to fire her Super Draco engines (which would safely keep the spacecraft and crew from the blast in the event of an accident with the spaceship rocket amplifier) ​​when suddenly "there" became an anomaly and the vehicle became destroyed. "

Now even Koenigsmann's statement repeated to the party line that it was" too early to confirm "what exactly happened, but we know that the following is important to investors.

The spaceship that entered the It was the same ship that successfully completed an unmanned docking with the International Space Station in March, which, as you will recall, was injected at sea after completing its mission, so it is possible that the accident happened in April has something to do with the ship's (and seawater's) wear and tear and has nothing to do with the spaceship's original design. [19659012] SpaceX planned to re-deploy this spaceship in June for a "crash test during the flight" by Crew Dragon shot at a rocket and the Super Draco engines were detonated to demonstrate the ability to quickly remove the capsule from a (hypothetical) exp flaming rocket. A successful completion of this test would have enabled the company to bring astronauts to the ISS in July on a mission called Demo-2.

Due to the April anomaly, it is now likely that both will conduct a demolition test in June and thus the launch attempt in July will have to be postponed. For one, SpaceX must now definitely build a new spaceship. (Some are under construction, but it will take some time.) Some experts say the ISS mission could slip out by 2020, and even Koenigsmann admits the accident was "not good news for the schedule".

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<p class =" Canvas Atomic Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm "-type =" text "content =" Although SpaceX competitor Boeing (NYSE: BA) suffered delays and own setbacks in the preparation of his CST-100 Starliner spacecraft for test flights, This is to be expected In August, the first unmanned Starliner will launch a test run to the ISS, which could be followed by a manned mission in November, with SpaceX likely to launch its first manned mission in 2020 Boeing could well boast, as the company, the American astronaut aboard an American Space Shuttle returns to space for the first time since the shuttle program was discontinued in 2011. "data-reactid =" 33 "> Although the SpaceX competitor Boeing (NYSE: BA) has suffered delays and setbacks in the preparation of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft for test flights, it still does expected to launch its first unmanned Starliner in August for a test run to the ISS, and if that works out, a manned mission could already follow in November Since SpaceX may not be launching its first manned mission until 2020, Boeing will appear in that race Boeing can well win boastful rights as the company that returns American astronaut aboard an American spaceship for the first time since the shuttle program was discontinued in 2011. This would be NASA's decision, 4.2 billion US Dollars to pay for carrying six transport missions to the ISS aboard the Starliner, more likely to confirm than the award of only $ 2.6 billion to SpaceX for the same work. And if NASA had once paid a premium for reliability, Boeing's argument of continuing to demand higher prices (and higher profit margins) than SpaceX in the future would be strengthened.

Now, Boeing will only have to launch its spaceship successfully as planned in August to the ISS – and then again three months later, before SpaceX rebounds.

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<p class =" canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm "type =" text "content =" Rich Smith does not hold a position in any of the named stocks Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned above Motley Fool has a disclosure policy "data-reactid = "48"> Rich Smith has no position in any of these stocks. The Motley Fool has no position in any of these stocks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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