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SpaceX sucessfully tests Crew Dragon emergency abort system

SpaceX sucessfully tests Crew Dragon emergency abort system

AFP
Washington
SpaceX successfully tested its emergency abort system on an unmanned spacecraft moments after launch on Sunday, according to a live broadcast of the event, the last major test before it plans to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
The test launch began at 1030 am (1530 GMT) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket topped by SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon spacecraft. The rocket was programmed to perform as if it were launching the capsule into orbit.
One minute and 24 seconds after launch, at an altitude of 19 kms (12 miles) over the Atlantic and as the rocket was traveling at a speed of more than 1,500 kilometers per hour, an emergency escape sequence was set in motion.
The spacecraft ignited its powerful SuperDraco thrusters, propelling it away from the rocket.
Shortly after the separation, the rocket disintegrated in a ball of fire, as planned.
On a manned mission, the maneuver is designed to rescue the astronauts in the event the rocket has a problem on ascent or veers off course.
Crew Dragon continued its upward trajectory alone reaching an altitude of about 40 kilometers before beginning its natural descent toward the Atlantic.
Four large parachutes opened to brake its descent and splashdown in the Atlantic, where recovery teams were pre-positioned. Nine minutes after launch, Crew Dragon was in the water, apparently without suffering damage.
Analysis of the spacecraft and flight data will confirm whether the test came off without a hitch, and whether the spacecraft is ready for manned missions.
But NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that the test appeared to be a complete success.