However, SpaceX configured Crew Dragon to intentionally trigger a launch escape after Max Q, the moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket. "It went as well as one can possibly expect", Musk said at a press conference.
"This is a reflection of the dedication and hard work of the SpaceX and NASA teams to achieve this goal". Throughout the take, a look at SpaceX's latest flightworthy Crew Dragon spacecraft will try to flee from a supersonic Falcon 9 rocket, exceptionally hard situations that can almost definitely end result within the quick (intentional) destruction of Falcon 9's higher stage and booster. The rocket, with a recycled first stage booster flown three previous times, disintegrated in a fireball high over the Atlantic Ocean as the crew capsule sped away from the top of the launcher with a powerful boost from eight SuperDraco engines.
SpaceX employees who gathered at the company's mission control in Hawthorne, Calif., cheered every twist and turn of the test, from the launch to the opening of the parachutes and the streaming-video splash into the ocean.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the unmanned Crew Dragon capsule on its nose sits at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 1, 2019. Of course, further tests will still be conducted before Crew Dragon's piloted launch. The Dragon capsule accelerated away from its Falcon 9 launch vehicle, oriented properly, deployed parachutes, and splashed down successfully. However, SpaceX still needs to physically recover the Crew Dragon spacecraft and make sure that there is no issue that can not be seen on telemetry.
In the meantime, SpaceX will collect all the data from the Crew Dragon abort test and analyze the results for any potential problem areas.
The U.S. has been forced to rely on Russian Federation for rides to the International Space Station at $84million a seat.
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Sunday's success brings it one step closer to its goal of shuttling astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Crew Dragon capsule. The Demo-2 mission, in turn, will use a Crew Dragon spacecraft originally constructed for the first post-certification, or operational, ISS mission.
Last month, Boeing's Starliner crew capsule ended up in the wrong orbit on its first test flight and had to skip the space station.
Final certification for SpaceX's Crew Dragon, however, could happen in the coming weeks.
Towards the end of past year, SpaceX wasn't having a great time.
Instead, SpaceX was testing the Crew Dragon's escape system that could hopefully save even more precious lives when the capsule does make its first manned flight in a few months.
At the pinnacle of its arc, which was predicted to be about 25 miles above the ground, the gumdrop-shaped Crew Dragon capsule shed its large cargo trunk, began falling back to Earth, and started positioning itself for a water landing.