SpaceX and NASA have conducted a flight test to demonstrate the performance of a spacecraft launch escape system in preparation for a crewed mission to the International Space Station.
The test took place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and aimed to show how the company-built Crew Dragon would separate from the Falcon 9 rocket if an inflight emergency occurs, the agency said Monday.
SpaceX and U.S. Air Force personnel at Patrick AF Base will work to recover the spacecraft, which splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean as part of the event, and transport the vehicle to a company facility.
“This critical flight test puts us on the cusp of returning the capability to launch astronauts in American spacecraft on American rockets from American soil,” said Jim Bridenstine, administrator of NASA and a 2019 Wash100 awardee.
“We are thrilled with the progress NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is making and look forward to the next milestone for Crew Dragon.”
The joint team will review test data required before astronauts can use the system for the Demo-2 mission.