SpaceX Crew Dragon Test 'Anomaly' Sends Plumes of Smoke Over Cape Canaveral

SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft suffers anomaly during ground tests

"Our teams are investigating and working closely with our NASA partners", the company further added. An investigation was committed to making sure that its systems met "rigorous safety standards".

SpaceX's first crewed test flight is slated to launch in July with USA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

Recall, earlier, in March, a video of the test launch of Dragon-2 was published on the Web.

SpaceX meant to fly that same rocket this summer in an in-flight abort test, SpaceNews said.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine responded to the incident with a short statement on Twitter Saturday. "We will learn, make the necessary adjustments and safely move forward with our commercial crew program".

Earlier this year, SpaceX conducted a successful uncrewed test flight of its spacecraft, known as Crew Dragon, which flew to the space station, docked and then returned home.

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The ground test anomaly came from an engine test, specifically the SuperDraco engines which provide power for astronauts to get to safety during an aborted launch.

During testing Saturday, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, created to ferry humans between Earth and the International Space Station (ISS), suffered "an anomaly". The test firing was a preliminary event leading to a return to manned launches from the United States, which hasn't happened since the last space shuttle lifted off in 2011.

According to Spaceflight Now, the test "sent a reddish-orange plume into the sky visible for miles around", suggesting a fairly serious malfunction of the engine systems.

But following an apparently catastrophic failure, SpaceX's in-flight abort test may be seen as even more important, if only politically. A crewed launch was supposed to take place as soon as July, but it seems likely the timeline will change for that as well. The company holds a separate cargo contract valued at $3.04 billion for 20 space station resupply flights and another contract for an unspecified amount for at least six additional flights through 2024.

For the last eight years, NASA has been dependent on Russian Federation to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station, paying Roscosmos up to $81 million per seat.

NASA had been expected to update SpaceX's test flight schedule any day now.

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