SpaceX is preparing to perform an important test in collaboration with NASA. Accidents with crushed SuperDraco system tests Dragon spacecraft crew in April, and the company and NASA have since said they have identified the cause of the problem.
SpaceX needs this test to go well to show that Crew Dragon is ready to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on a crewed flight test later this year.
The main goal of Crew Dragon spaceships is ferrying astronauts from NASA to the International Space Station, but before that can happen, SpaceX must somehow prove that, in case of an extreme rocket failure that might result in an explosion, the capsule can keep astronauts safe. Engineers trust the test finishes in a fiery explosion for the Falcon 9, as it would consume any remaining fuel before the rocket arrives in the ocean. The handcuffs that tied the rocket to the ground prevented Falcon 9 from taking off. However, an anomaly during a static fire test of the spacecraft resulted in its complete destruction.
Following the destruction of the Demo-1 Crew Dragon, an investigation was launched which ultimately lead to a redesign of the spacecraft. The first stage of the Falcon 9 gives a boost to takeoff, and the second starts its own engine to detonate Crew Dragon at over 26,000 km / h - fast enough to enter Earth orbit. Initially, the spacecraft recovered from the maiden uncrewed test flight in March 2019 was expected to be used for the test.
If the next Saturday test is successful, Crew Dragon will launch NASA astronauts into space. Date low, which could come as soon as this spring, will be set after NASA's work through the data from the test flight and cancel other tests carried out by a company based in California.