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SpaceX explores the explosion of its spacecraft NASA shows how to move forward

SpaceX has launched a study of what caused the company's new passenger cars, Crew Dragon, to explode during a weekend test, but it is too early to know how the accident will affect the plans ahead. Already before the accident, SpaceX had a "large workgroup" to be able to complete before it could fly people on the canister for the first time, according to a NASA Security Council on security meeting today. Five days after the accident, details of what happened are still scarce. But it has been confirmed that the explosion occurred while SpaceX burned some of the engines embedded in its Crew Dragon. The canister is equipped with eight small thrusters called SuperDraco engines, which will be crucial in emergencies during future flights. If something goes wrong in a launch, these engines can ignite and carry the Crew Dragon away from a faulty rocket. Five days after the accident, details of what happened are still scarce On Saturday, April 20, SpaceX conducted tests of these engines on the company's landing plate at Cape Canaveral, Florida, site of many Falcon 9 rocket landings. During these tests, known as static fires, the capsule is held down while the motors are lit. This allows the company to test the hardware while the vehicle does not actually go anywhere. When SpaceX fired all eight of the SuperDraco engines, the explosion occurred, according to NASA Security Council, ASAP, who met today in Huntsville, Alabama. A video on Twitter, which has since been deleted,…

SpaceX has launched a study of what caused the company’s new passenger cars, Crew Dragon, to explode during a weekend test, but it is too early to know how the accident will affect the plans ahead. Already before the accident, SpaceX had a “large workgroup” to be able to complete before it could fly people on the canister for the first time, according to a NASA Security Council on security meeting today.

Five days after the accident, details of what happened are still scarce. But it has been confirmed that the explosion occurred while SpaceX burned some of the engines embedded in its Crew Dragon. The canister is equipped with eight small thrusters called SuperDraco engines, which will be crucial in emergencies during future flights. If something goes wrong in a launch, these engines can ignite and carry the Crew Dragon away from a faulty rocket.

On Saturday, April 20, SpaceX conducted tests of these engines on the company’s landing plate at Cape Canaveral, Florida, site of many Falcon 9 rocket landings. During these tests, known as static fires, the capsule is held down while the motors are lit. This allows the company to test the hardware while the vehicle does not actually go anywhere. When SpaceX fired all eight of the SuperDraco engines, the explosion occurred, according to NASA Security Council, ASAP, who met today in Huntsville, Alabama. A video on Twitter, which has since been deleted, showed that the canister was completely filled in smoke. Images of the event taken from a distance from a Florida Today photographer also showed large smoke pits high above the coast.

SpaceX is currently developing Crew Dragon as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, an initiative to send space agency astronauts to the International Space Station on privately built vehicles. The canister that was tested on Saturday had already passed a major milestone in March during its first test flight, which sent it to the International Space Station. The vehicle showed that it could dock with the station and then land safely in the Atlantic after a week-long stay in space.

SpaceX had provisionally planned to fly the first passengers on a Crew Dragon in July, a date that was far from confirmed before the accident. The flight will almost certainly not happen this summer now.

ASAP noted that all safety procedures were followed after the accident and no injuries were reported. “NASA and SpaceX immediately carried out accidents by the agency and company guidelines, and SpaceX is conducting the investigation, with active NASA participation,” said chairman of ASAP, Patricia Sanders, at the meeting. Currently, SpaceX is focused on rescuing the scene of accident, collecting data and coming up to a timeline of events leading up to the accident, it may take a while before we know how the company will recover. “The survey will take time before the basic report is completed,” Sanders said.

The explosion already has some effects SpaceX will launch a cargo mission to the international space station next weekend from Cape Canaveral, but the company must land its rocket on a drone ship afterwards, as the landing pad is out of commission at the moment.


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