Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Crew abort test reviewed

Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, recently laid out its plan to NASA to demonstrate the Dragon spacecraft's ability to carry astronauts to safety in the event of an in-flight emergency. In the test, which will take place along Florida's space coast next summer, a Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket and an abort command will be issued about 73 seconds into the flight, when it’s flying through the area of maximum dynamic pressure. The test spacecraft will be retrieved from splashdown and returned to Port Canaveral by barge so data can be incorporated into the system's design. SpaceX is one of three companies working under NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability initiative to develop spaceflight capabilities that eventually could provide launch services to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil. SpaceX has already flown successful cargo missions to the ISS. (Source: Space Travel, 10/28/13) Gulf Coast note: SpaceX will test its developing Raptor engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss., beginning in 2014. Previous