A crew of SpaceX Dragon Crew capsules suffered an "anomaly" on the launch pad at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station when they tested their engines on Saturday. Florida Today posted a picture of "orange feathers" off the launch pad, noting that the capsule containing "unconfirmed reports" was destroyed.
According to Spaceflight Some workers nearby said they heard an explosion even though no injuries were reported. In a statement to Florida Today, a company spokesman dropped few details, focusing instead on how the incident took place in unmanned tests rather than in flight and / or with people aboard:
"SpaceX used to run a series of engine tests Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1in Cape Canaveral, Florida, "SpaceX said in a statement. "The initial tests were successfully completed, but the final test led to an anomaly on the test bench."
"Ensuring that our systems meet stringent safety standards and finding such anomalies before the flight are the main reasons for the test. Our teams are working closely with our NASA partners, "the company said.
This assessment was repeated by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, who posted a statement on Twitter, saying," That's why we're testing ". (19659005)]
SpaceFlight Now wrote that the accident happened when SpaceX performed a "demolition engine test." The Crew Dragon has Draco engines for normal maneuvers as well as eight larger SuperDraco engines used for crashes in an emergency According to the Los Angeles Times, SpaceX has confirmed that the ship that suffered the anomaly landed automatically at the International Space Station earlier this year, but its engineers were planning an overtaking maneuver. This capsule was reportedly due for an unchecked crash test during the flight, which first required the static fire test that took place on the flight Saturday had failed.
Business Insider has posted a video calling a Twitter user the detonating vehicle, but it was low-resolution and could not be reviewed immediately. The site wrote, "When SpaceX was asked about the video, they simply pointed to the test statement on Saturday."
It is unclear whether the incident affects the SpaceX timeline to complete the vehicle that is part of the ship. Commercial Crew Program – a project that NASA has new vehicles at its disposal which allows astronauts to be launched into space and is already far behind schedule. (NASA lost that ability years ago with the departure of the Space Shuttle and has since relied on Russian Roscosmos to provide seats on Soyuz rockets to bring astronauts to the International Space Station.)
According to Spaceflight Now, the sources said , notes the crew Dragon & # 39; s first test with people on board, originally scheduled for July 25, was "probably already postponed for late September or early October," even before everything happened on Saturday. As the Times noted, SpaceX is building another Crew Dragon capsule for this crew test.
Boeing, also developing a CST-100 Starliner for the commercial crew program, is unwilling to spend months unchecked testing