'We're About to Lift Off': SpaceX Mission Tests Emergency Shoot Successfully

'We're About to Lift Off': SpaceX Mission Tests Emergency Shoot Successfully

'We're About to Lift Off': SpaceX Mission Tests Emergency Shoot Successfully

Sunday's success brings it one step closer to its goal of shuttling astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Crew Dragon capsule.

The rocket that was mostly destroyed Sunday included the first booster ever flown of SpaceX's latest rocket type, the Falcon 9 Block 5, which had its maiden launch in May 2018. About 84 seconds after takeoff, Crew Dragon intentionally ejected from the rocket to simulate how it would transport passengers safely if something went wrong during launch.

SpaceX is preparing to make history once again. "It went as well as one can possibly expect".

During the test, the Falcon rocket fell toward the Atlantic, partially exploding into a fireball, and the capsule landed a few minutes later in rough seas about 20 miles off the coast. The unmanned Crew Dragon craft is set to land in the Atlantic Ocean after deploying parachutes.

NASA had planned for the two men to make a short stay in the space station during a flight that was primarily created to demonstrate the functions of the capsule. Air Force and SpaceX teams were stationed to fix it while they were rehearsing to remove a crew from the capsule. "It took a lot of work between NASA and SpaceX to get to this point, and we can't wait to take a ride to the space station soon", he said in the NASA statement.

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But Musk said Sunday that SpaceX is still talking to NASA about the possibility of reusing Crew Dragon.

NASA asked the private sector to develop crew-worthy spacecraft to replace the Space Shuttle program after it was retired in 2011. During a launch dress rehearsal Friday, Hurley and Behnken rode in a white Tesla Model X from Kennedy Space Center's crew quarters to the launch pad, their sleek white and black spacesuits matching the electric sports auto with wing-like doors. Both companies struggled with technical problems, adding years of delay and forcing NASA to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars extra for Russian rocket rides.

"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 NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Though the USA space agency paid the companies to develop their vehicles, Boeing's Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon are privately owned and operated. If SpaceX's mission succeeds, its commercial contract with NASA to carry astronauts to space will become an agreement and it would also boost avenues such as space tourism for the country.

NASA awarded $4.2 billion to Boeing and $2.5 billion to SpaceX in 2014 to develop separate capsule systems capable of ferrying astronauts to the space station from US soil for the first time since NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011. Final certification could happen in the coming weeks. There is still some testing left to do, such as additional checks on the vehicle's parachute design, Kathy Lueders, NASA's Commercial Crew Program manager, said during a press briefing Friday.

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The capsule has already demonstrated it can fly into orbit and autonomously dock with the International Space Station: It completed an uncrewed demonstration mission in March 2019.

Musk previously indicated in a tweet that he hopes to send a crew on the Dragon in 2020. The parachutes on this Crew Dragon were SpaceX's newest version, the Mark 3 parachute design.

Two years ago next month, Musk launched his own cherry-red Tesla Roadster on the debut flight of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

The same website mentioned above notes that Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be traveling to the ISS, and they said that they were really excited to see just how everything was going as planned.

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