Skip to comments.These photos of SpaceX's Crew Dragon abort launch are just stunning (video too)
Posted on 01/23/2020 8:52:40 PM PST by aquila48
On Sunday (Jan. 19), SpaceX's Crew Dragon launched on a brilliant a high-altitude test of its launch escape system.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk called the in-flight abort test flight "picture perfect," and, in looking at the stunning images of the test, he was absolutely right. Following a weather delay, Crew Dragon lifted off at 10:30 a.m. EST (1430 GMT) atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
With the test, SpaceX successfully (and intentionally) destroyed one of its Falcon 9 rockets to show that, if there were a launch anomaly, the capsule could still safely return to Earth with its crew still aboard and unharmed. The rocket exploded, Crew Dragon's parachutes opened and the craft landed safely back on Earth. And the cherry on top? The photos of the test launch are absolutely amazing.
With the test mission successfully completed, Musk did not hide his excitement. "I'm super fired up. This is great," he said about the launch. "It's really great."
The successful completion of this in-flight abort test was the last major hurdle that SpaceX had to jump over before they could begin to plan to launch their first crewed mission to the International Space Station. Following this mission, Musk has stated that he aims for the first astronauts to fly to space aboard Crew Dragon to make the inaugural flight this upcoming spring, 2020.
"We're highly confident that the hardware will be ready in Q1, most likely end of February but no later than March," Musk said, referring to the first quarter of 2020. "And we think it appears probable that the first crewed launch would occur in the second quarter."
Hot streak, really? You mean the whole company didn’t fold when he smoked a joint with Joe Rogan? I guess it shows what those forecasters know!
C’mon man, everybody knows smoking pot makes you moron, incapable of accomplishing anything with your life. /s
My father was the launch conductor for Gemini 6 and 7. He went on to be the test manager for the lunar module on Apollo 11 and Apollo 13. So, heres his summary of the Space X abort- escape test... Great test to prove that the crew capsule can escape and land successfully if All engines shut down in flight. However, since the beginning of the Space Program (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo/ Soyez, Shuttle) there has never been one incident when all engines just shut down in flight. Even if this was the scenario (for the first time) the test should have reflected a more worst case scenario. Yet, instead, Space X had the capsule jettison away several seconds ahead of a timed shutdown. This artificially gave the crew capsule a thousand plus yards of head start with an advanced velocity before the vehicle actually self destructed from aerodynamic forces. A true worst case ( but realistic scenario) would have been to activate the same abort-escape procedure not until the vehicle began to break apart ( therefore, rapidly burning exploding ).. So, in conclusion... A great test under simulated conditions that probably would not reflect a realistic situation. Lets hope we never have to find out if the abort system works under more stressful conditions!
Sorta true, but maybe sorta misses the point. Several minutes before its complete destruction, there were plenty of signs, for instance, that the space shuttle Columbia was doomed. At seven minutes before destruction, several people (including Freepers) reported bright flashes taken for serious problems. At five minutes before destructions, numerous sensors quit signalling. At four minutes, Columbia started rolling. At one minute, ground control recognized loss of signal which likely meant loss of landing gear. At 30 seconds, radio communication was lost.
Its not foolproof, bulletproof, or safe by any means. Other than the bare minimums that NASA has set forth(which happen to be the most stringent rules to ever be set for abort safety) and the willingness of brave men and women to strap themselves to the top of a controlled explosion.
Then about the best that can be hoped for is to have a President who can give the crew a worthy eulogy.
Carbon-based flammable fuels will get us nowhere. Back to the drawing board.
? My pickup gets me to town and back just fine and last I checked it was still using dinosaur squeezins(carbon fuel).
They say the crew cabin of the shuttle Challenger survived all the way down to the ocean, where the occupants were actually killed. All it needed was a parachute or something and they might have lived. Anyway, at least SpaceX has an advantage the shuttle didn’t.
The shuttle had many safety problems. An obvious one was the thermal shielding tiles. That being said, the only thing we should do going forward is try to make things better. Parchutes can be reliable but pose other risks as well. That is why this particular series of tests is going on at the moment.
Hey newbie, years ago before your time television sets had only two controls—horizontal and vertical. I think there’s a lesson in that for you somewhere.
Sadly a parchute would not have helped challenger. Altitude, speeds, angle of declination, time to open a drogue shoot, attitude control, all of these were barriers to using a recovery system for challenger during the disaster.
Thats a big 10-4 there joker!
You’re right, and Spacex has actually spoken about the various failure rate percentages. I watched a video where they broke down the numbers/reasons for every loss from the beginning of the space program, through to present day, which show a very low danger during launch. I just tried to find a link, but couldn’t. Anyway, they’re fulfilling NASA’s testing requests.
Also, in the presser after this abort test, a reporter asked Elon about the concept of the capsule being exposed to a breakup as you’ve described, with no advanced indications. Elon described these “explosions” as more accurately called fireballs. He said the capsule is very much able to withstand the temperatures and shock of such a fireball and breakup.
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