Video Allegedly Showing Crew Dragon Incident Surfaces as Details Still Unknown

This past weekend, a Crew Dragon spacecraft was conducting static fire tests of its launch abort system in Cape Canaveral, Florida when an unspecified failure caused the vehicle to be ungulfed in flames.
Smoke on the Landing Zone 1 signals something went wrong during Crew Dragon test 1 photo
Photo: @EmreKelly/Twitter
The space company acknowledged something went wrong in an official statement, but added such occurrences are exactly why these tests are being conducted. SpaceX’s stand on the matter was backed online by NASA’s Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who said pretty much the same thing on Twitter.

At the moment, it’s not clear which of the existing Crew Dragons was at the center of all this, as the company only said it was a “test vehicle.”

"Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand,” SpaceX says.

“Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting anomalies like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test. Our teams are investigating and working closely with our NASA partners."

According to several sources, SpaceX was testing the Super Draco thrusters fitted on the spacecraft to act as an emergency abort system. This system kicks in to separate the capsule from the rocket if anything goes wrong during launch.

The world witnessed such a system in action in October last year, when the Soyuz MS-10 experienced a problem with the launch rocket’s boosters and had to detach from the launch vehicle mid-flight.

SpaceX already flew an uncrewed Dragon to the International Space Station in March 2019 and was supposed to return to the station sometime in July, this time with humans onboard.

It’s not clear at the moment how this weekend’s still unknown problem will affect those plans.

On Sunday, a poor-quality and very short video that allegedly shows the Crew Dragon explode was published online. You can see it below.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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