WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Media accreditation is open for a pad abort test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft next month. The test will simulate an emergency abort from a test stand on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
As a development test, the likelihood of encountering an issue is higher than with operational missions. SpaceX currently is targeting no earlier than Tuesday, May 5, for the test flight. The company will have a four-hour window to conduct the test, beginning at about 9:30 a.m. EDT. SpaceX has an additional test opportunity on May 6.
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the test. NASA TV also will air a media briefing previewing the test with SpaceX and NASA representatives. The date and time for the briefing, which will take place at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site, are yet to be determined.
The ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency and safely carry crew members out of harm’s way is a critical element for NASA’s next generation of crew spacecraft. SpaceX will perform the test under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA, but can use the data gathered during the development flight as it continues on the path to certification. Under a separate Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will certify SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Falcon 9 rocket, ground and mission operations systems to fly crews to and from the International Space Station.
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