Watch SpaceX blow up a Falcon 9 rocket to test its launch abort system
SpaceX just blew up its own rocket on purpose.
The explosion was part of a critical safety test.
One of the final major tests that the Crew Dragon capsule must undergo before it starts crew flights later this year.
SpaceX is Launch Abort System has been tested before undergoing static fire tests as well as a Pad Abort test.
However, this is the first time it has been tested in flight.
For the two astronauts who will find themselves on the end of a falcon nine rocket for SpaceX his first crewed mission.
This in flight abort system is what will protect them in the event of an in flight failure.
An actual inflight abort happened as recently as 2018 when a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two astronauts to the International Space Station detected an issue and automatically triggered the abort system.
Thanks to the Soyuz in flight abort system, both astronauts returned to Earth safely and were reunited with their families.
The in flight abort test was originally scheduled for Saturday January 18.
However, rough seas in the recovery area and wind conditions caused the launch to be pushed to Sunday.
To test dummies.
We're along for the ride inside the Dragon capsule seated in chairs which have instruments built in to gather more information from the test.
The Falcon nine launched at about 10:30am.
Eastern Time on Sunday, January 19.
at just over 80 seconds after launch, the launch escape was triggered by the dragon capsules onboard computer, firing up the eight super Draco engines which pulled the capsule away from the Falcon nine, just as it broke apart in a fiery explosion over the Atlantic.
SpaceX was actually hoping the Falcon nine would explode, burning up all the excess fuel so that it didn't end up pouring out into the ocean.
The Dragon capsule, meanwhile, jettison the trunk compartment and started to deploy parachutes in preparation for splashdown, which occurred a bit earlier than expected at around nine minutes after lauch.
Recovery boats swooped in to begin gathering up anything that floats.
Another successful test for Spaces.
The crew dragons escaped from the Falcon nine rocket was powered by the strength of eight super Draco engines, each of which fired for about five seconds at full thrust.
It's been described as a mini rocket on top of a rocket.
The Super Draco's are the third most powerful engine SpaceX has invented.
There are about one ninth the strength of the Merlin one D engines powering the Falcon nine and approximately one eight 10th.
The strength of the Raptor engine designed for Space X is starship.
The first crew flight of SpaceX Dragon capsule is scheduled for March of this year.
This set to be the first American spacecraft to bring humans into orbit since the last mission of the shuttle program back in 2011.
Until next time, what the [UNKNOWN] keep reaching for the stars.
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