SpaceX faces a crucial task this week when the private space company shows off the emergency capabilities of its Dragon crew. The capsule that could one day ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
SpaceX, a private space enterprise will take one step closer to sending manned spacecraft to ISS from the Earth and vice-versa. The test this week is about how the Dragon crew will react to emergencies. No private company has ever done this, sending manned spacecraft, and if Elon Musk does this, he would be the first one, a a private individual, to do it outside of NASA. Will Mars comes next?
The test will involve aborting a launch which is scheduled this coming Wednesday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It is part of NASA’s requirement. To determine how emergency-ready SpaceX’s crews are and if they are they capable of meeting the standard set by the government agency.
There will be no human personnel involved in the test, instead a simulation of an emergency evacuation will take place in the launch pad. Eight SuperDraco engines are going to lift the Dragon shuttle 5,000 feet into the air, according to NASA, and would be dropped into the Atlantic Ocean using parachutes.
The whole event will take around a minute and half to finish NASA said. The spacecraft is assumed to touch ground about one mile from the coast and will be retrieved afterwards.
SpaceX should first pass this important test before they’ll be allowed to use their capsule in transporting astronauts possibly as early as 2017.
At present, NASA has been paying the Russians for the use of their Soyuz. Last year NASA has given both Boeing and SpaceX multi-billion dollar deals to develop space shuttles to ferry their astronauts to and from the space.
I hope SpaceX will make it. Seeing both Mr. Mr. Bolden and Mr. Musk work together will certainly be great for space exploration. I’m just curious what are they going to be talking about when they sit at the same table together.