Monday, May 25, 2015

SpaceX Releases Point-of-View Video of Pad Abort Test


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has released a point-of-view video taken from its Dragon space capsule when the aerospace company tested its new pad abort system earlier this month from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The test simulated how Dragon would carry astronauts to safety if an emergency occurred on the launch pad. The Crew Dragon simultaneously fired its eight SuperDraco for about six seconds, instantly producing about 15,000 pounds of thrust each and lifting the spacecraft out over the Atlantic Ocean before jettisoning its trunk, as planned, and parachuting safely into the ocean off Florida's Space Coast. The test lasted about two minutes from engine ignition to splashdown.

As seen in the video, the trunk - an unpowered cylinder with stabilizing fins - detached from the spacecraft when it reached maximum altitude and fell back to Earth, while the capsule rotated on as planned for a couple seconds before unfurling its drogue parachutes, which then deployed the main parachutes.