SpaceX completes engine test of the Crew Dragon system
The Crew Dragon spacecraft was in the spotlight yesterday as SpaceX ran a static fire engine test as part of a series of testing procedures performed in partnership with NASA. Although the company reported that the text went smoothly, it was under close watch by NASA, as a similar test that was performed back in April resulted in an explosion.
The results of the test will subsequently reviewed by both NASA and SpaceX, and they are within the acceptable parameters the Crew Dragon system can move on to the next step in the series. Assuming all goes well with results of today’s test, the Crew Dragon will undergo an in-flight demonstration of the launch abort system as part of the NASA Commercial Crew Program sometime in mid-December, according to SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk. If the SpaceX passes all safety tests, the company plans to have a crewed mission as early as the first half of 2020. A similar timeline is being tracked by another one of NASA’s commercial co-contractor, Boeing, who has its own crew capsule program dubbed Starline.