Jan 18, 2020

SpaceX will trigger an intentional rocket failure to prove crew capsule’s safety

Posted by in category: space travel

SpaceX will sacrifice a Falcon 9 rocket Sunday in a fiery test a minute-and-a-half after liftoff from Florida’s Space Coast to prove the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft can safely push astronauts away from a failing launch vehicle, simulating a daring maneuver that would only be attempted on a piloted mission during an in-flight emergency.

The launch escape demonstration could be a spectacle for local residents, rocket fans and enthusiasts along the Space Coast, assuming clear skies and good visibility, according to SpaceX.

While the Crew Dragon capsule — flying without astronauts on Sunday’s test — fires away from the top of the Falcon 9 rocket, the booster itself is expected to tumble and break apart, possibly in a fireball visible from the ground.

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