This experiment is the last major stop on the road before the company transports NASA astronauts to space from the territory of the United States.
After the launch of the space capsule Crowe Dragon at 10:30 am EST (1530 GMT), it quietly separated and fell from an altitude of about 19 km off the Cape Canaveral coast in Florida after about eight minutes. The capsule itself was separated from a missile whose thrust motors had ceased to simulate the failure of a launch test.
NASA director Jim Pridenstein declared the mission a success.
“This crucial test puts us on the cusp of launching American astronauts again using American missiles and from US soil,” he said on Twitter. He added, “Spacecraft releases are under way.”
In a fundamental test of the ability to transport humans, SpaceX also tests the response of its rescue teams after the fall of the Crow Dragon capsule. This is an essential part of a rescue mission test to return the astronauts on the capsule.
Less than two minutes after takeoff, the capsule, which could accommodate seven astronauts, launched its onboard devices to separate from the Falcon 9 missile in the air, stimulating the emergency separation system to demonstrate the possibility of its safe return to Earth.
This test is crucial in terms of the ability to transport humans to the International Space Station, an achievement NASA expects to complete soon, possibly in the middle of this year. This comes after years of delay and development efforts as the United States seeks to revive the manned space flight program through private partnerships.
NASA awarded $ 4.2 billion in contracts to Boeing and $ 2.5 billion to SpaceX in 2014 to develop separate capsule systems capable of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station from US soil, for the first time since the NASA space shuttle program was suspended in 2011. NASA is accrediting Since then, Russian spacecraft have been connected to the space station.
During the test on Sunday, the Falcon 9 propulsion engines stopped in a way that simulates a failure condition, which causes the Crowe Dragon’s propulsion force to exceed the speed of sound, reaching 2400 km per hour until it is separated from it.
Four umbrellas went out of the capsule to slow their descent into the water, carrying two human-shaped dolls with movement sensors in order to collect valuable data related to the effect of acceleration on the body when the propulsion engines stopped.
The test had been scheduled for mid-2019, but was delayed after a Crew Dragon capsule exploded on a test platform in April, ahead of the launch of its defenses. This was followed by the commencement of a lengthy investigation. (Reuters)