SpaceX is banking on its commercial space taxi, Crew Dragon to fly seven astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in an orbital mission to and from Earth. So far, the American aerospace company has completed over 700 tests of the space cab’s SuperDraco engines, that allow for orbital maneuvering.
Now, the Crew Dragon is being tested rigorously for its emergency abort system, as per a video that was posted by SpaceX on Twitter. The dramatic video shows the space cab outfitted with eight SuperDraco engines, allowing it to cover half a mile in just 7.5 seconds at the time of an emergency, as tweeted by SpaceX. The maximum speed that the Crew Dragon can reach at this point is 436 metres per hour.
As the system deploys mid-air, parachutes ensure that the craft safely lands back on Earth. This mechanism is carefully designed for when something goes wrong with the rocket carrying the Crew Dragon to orbit. The module, thus, can fire up its thrusters to quickly evade the danger and then, balloon down sustaining minimal damage to the craft.
But it hasn’t always been a smooth ride testing out the Crew Dragon. The same engines that make up the integrated launch system, caused the first Crew Dragon capsule to blow up during a system check in April. The explosion happened due to a leaking valve. As per Digital Trends, the aerospace company’s Falcon 9 booster launched the Crew Dragon capsule into orbit on July 25. The Dragon capsule contains 5,500 pounds worth of equipment for experiments and ongoing scientific research to supply the ISS.
As SpaceX is perfecting its soon-to-be-manned capsule, it tested out the first stage of its Falcon 9 boosters that will be responsible for launching two NASA astronauts into orbit as a part of Crew Dragon’s first-ever chartered test flight. The exact date of that test flight is still uncertain.
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