SpaceX to Test Abort Function of Dragon Capsule

July 24, 2013 – 04:00 pm

dragon-capsule-clapwayThe Falcon 9 Rocket that exploded on its way to resupply the ISS on Sunday was a major setback to SpaceX, the parent company of the unmanned Dragon Spacecraft. The explosion occurred shortly after launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida. Following the reaction, fragments of the Falcon 9 were seen falling into the Atlantic. The rocket was to transport a newly designed docking mechanism, to assist ISS in docking with other spacecraft in the future.
But a failsafe to this mishap is to be tested soon.

HOW THE EXPLOSION OCCURRED

The explosion occurred roughly two minutes into the rocket’s flight when a launch vehicle failure ripped the Falcon 9 rocket apart as it exited the atmosphere. The Dragon had already accomplished six perfectly successful cargo runs under the terms of a major contract with NASA, including the preliminary demonstration back in 2012. Because of this, SpaceX is still expected to develop rockets to carry humans into space.

BUT WHO WANTS TO BECOME HUMAN FIREWORKS?

SpaceX is going to test its in-flight abort capsule at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. This will involve fitting a Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 Rocket. The launch will happen sometime late 2016, but we do know that it will be launched from the 39A launch pad.

CHANGING AGREEMENT BETWEEN NASA AND SPACEX

The abort test was initially planned to occur this Fall at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, but the change in locale follows a clause in the revised agreement between NASA and SpaceX, which explains that the test is to be scheduled once Spacex has launched a prototype for a crew-carrying Dragon capsule.

WHY BOTHER ABORTING? IT’S ALREADY FAILED, RIGHT?

If successful, the Dragon capsule will give astronauts an easy way to escape any dangerous situation on a malfunctioning rocket, not to mention saving valuable supplies from incineration.

HOW CAN YOU ESCAPE AN EXPLODING ROCKET?

Another successful abort test was carried out in May, wherein SpaceX’s dragon capsule used its own thrusters to launch away from its supporting rocket, at Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral. This test was intended to test the above mentioned ability to successfully remove an entire crew from a dangerous rocket. This is an obvious failsafe.


Source: clapway.com

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