Elon Musk-led SpaceX has completed a series of static fire engine tests for its new passenger spacecraft crew Drew, which leads the in-flight launch escape performance. In April, during a similar set of engine tests, the spacecraft experienced an anomaly that caused the vehicle to explode and damage. In the following months, a team composed of SpaceX and NASA personnel determined that a piece of liquid propellant in a high-flow helium pressure system unexpectedly caused a titanium ignition event, resulting in an explosion.
Based on the findings of the investigation and months of testing, SpaceX redesigned the system’s components to eliminate the possibility of slugs entering the high-flow pressure system.
SpaceX tweeted on Wednesday, “Full-term static fire test of Crew Dragon’s launch escape system – SpaceX and NASA teams are now reviewing test data and towards in-flight demonstration of Crew Dragon’s launch escape capabilities Is working. ”
“Today’s tests will help validate the Crew Dragon’s launch escape system prior to in-flight abortion demonstration as part of NASA’s commercial crew program,” NASA said in a blog post on Wednesday.
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“SpaceX and NASA will now review data from today’s testing, conduct detailed hardware inspections, and establish target launch dates for the in-flight abort test,” it said.