Space X confirms Crew Dragon vehicle exploded last month during testing, company investigating the cause

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 3 May 2019
Space X confirms Crew Dragon vehicle exploded last month during testing, company investigating the cause
  • Space X confirms Crew Dragon vehicle exploded last month during testing and is investigating the cause
  • There is not enough evidence to reveal what caused the incident.
  • NASA and SpaceX are working together to resolve the issue.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon test vehicle suffered from an anomaly during some tests that were conducted last month. The company confirmed this but didn’t reveal much about what really happened. While the company is yet to describe what went wrong, a SpaceX official has confirmed that one of the company’s Crew Dragon capsules that was supposed to be used for crewed spaceflight was destroyed last month when a test failure occurred in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The destroyed capsule was the one, which was previously sent to the International Space Station (ISS) and successfully docked with it on SpaceX’s “Demo-1” mission in March. It was attached to the ISS for five days before detaching and re-entering earth and landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

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“Here’s what we can confirm ... just prior to when we wanted to fire the SuperDraco, there was an anomaly, and the vehicle was destroyed,” SpaceX vice president of mission assurance, Hans Koenigsmann, said in a press briefing, reports CNBC. “While it is too early to confirm any cause, whether probable or crude, the initial data indicates that the anomaly occurred during the activation of the SuperDraco system.” As per Koenigsmann, the Dragon capsule was securely tethered in place and the Draco thrusters were fired and tested for five seconds each before the ‘anomaly’ occurred. 

While NASA officials are said to be working with SpaceX to investigate the incident, the latter is said to be moving ahead with its plans to launch another Crew Dragon capsule that is set to dock with the International Space Station. While the company is going through the evidence of the accident, Koenigsmann says there is no reason or indication to believe that there’s an issue with the SuperDracos thrusters. Figuring out what went wrong and fixing the problem with the Crew Dragon vehicle is of utmost importance to SpaceX since it will serve as the replacement to fly astronauts to space without relying on Russia’s Soyuz program, which charges a hefty premium per passenger. 

Digit NewsDesk
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