SpaceX Confirms That Accident Destroyed Crew Dragon Capsule

Crew Dragon Explosion

SpaceX’s Vice President of Mission Assurance Hans Koenigsmann confirmed right now throughout a press occasion that the Crew Dragon capsule that flew to the Worldwide Area Station all by itself in March — albeit with no astronauts on board — was destroyed throughout a take a look at failure on April 20.

However Koenigsmann nonetheless avoided utilizing the phrase “explosion.”

Explosive Silence

The Atlantic identified earlier this week that SpaceX had didn’t acknowledge what seemed to be an enormous explosion at SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral testing grounds. Solely twelve days later did SpaceX publicly admit the Crew Dragon capsule was a “whole loss,” as Senator Richard Shelby, NASA’s funds supervisor, put it at right now’s press occasion.

Till right now, SpaceX had known as the incident an “anomaly” in a ready assertion launched two days later — a downplayed description of an incident that precipitated what The Atlantic known as “plumes, thick and glowing orange” to rise over the horizon.

Vows of Silence

Koenigsmann’s remarks come after a memo obtained by the Orlando Sentinel earlier this week appeared to verify that a video exhibiting an explosion throughout the take a look at was genuine.

So what was the reason for the explosion? Jeff Foust, senior author at SpaceNews, tweeted earlier right now that Koenigsmann said the “car was destroyed” — however earlier than the car’s thrusters ignited. That means the “anomaly” arose not due to the Crew Dragon’s eight emergency thrusters.

“We’ve no purpose to consider that there’s a problem with the SuperDraco techniques themselves,” Koenigsmann confirmed at right now’s press occasion.

SpaceX’s Koenigsmann: Crew Dragon powered up as anticipated. Smaller Draco thrusters fired OK. Simply earlier than to firing SuperDraco, there was anomaly and the car was destroyed.

— Emre Kelly (@EmreKelly) Could 2, 2019

Dangerous PR?

So the place does that go away Demo 2? The primary crewed take a look at flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft that was initially scheduled for July. Koenigsmann stated there was “actually hope” that the take a look at flight can nonetheless happen this 12 months. In response to Foust, SpaceX has“a number of spacecraft” in growth.

The take a look at failure continues to be formally underneath investigation, in response to Koenigsmann.

Koenigsmann: There are a number of Crew Dragons already in manufacturing, however the excellent news is they don’t seem to be finished – relying on investigation, we are able to make adjustments to its hardware as we proceed to construct them.

— Emre Kelly (@EmreKelly) Could 2, 2019

READ MORE: SpaceX’s Unnerving Silence on an Explosive Incident [The Atlantic]

Extra on the explosion: Inner Memo Confirms SpaceX Explosion Video Is Actual

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