SpaceX and NASA are each busy getting ready for the upcoming manned take a look at of the Crew Dragon, SpaceX’s capsule which can carry astronauts to the Worldwide House Station (ISS) as a part of NASA’s Industrial Crew Program. Nevertheless, the corporate has run into an issue whereas performing a parachute take a look at on the capsule this week.
“On March 24, SpaceX misplaced a spacecraft-like gadget used to check the Crew Dragon Mark three parachute design,” NASA wrote in an replace from its Industrial Crew Program. “The take a look at requires a helicopter to elevate the gadget suspended beneath it to achieve the wanted take a look at parameters. Nevertheless, the pilot proactively dropped the gadget in an abundance of warning to guard the take a look at crew because the take a look at gadget turned unstable beneath the helicopter. On the time of the discharge, the testing gadget was not armed, and a take a look at of the parachute design was not carried out.”
Parachute testing is a posh course of, however the firm says it’s virtually completed with its assessments of this specific operate. On the finish of final 12 months, SpaceX carried out an ideal parachute take a look at additionally on the Crew Dragon module. However testing has not at all times gone so easily, comparable to a take a look at in April final 12 months which suffered from issues when one of many 4 parachutes didn’t deploy correctly, inflicting the take a look at sled to hit the bottom too quick which prompted injury.
Whereas this newest take a look at failure signifies there are nonetheless some points to be labored out with the parachute system, NASA is assured that the deliberate launch of the Crew Dragon to hold astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS can nonetheless go forward within the subsequent few months. This might be a big milestone as it could be the primary time that American astronauts have been launched from American soil in practically a decade.
“Though dropping a take a look at gadget is rarely a desired consequence, NASA and SpaceX at all times will prioritize the security of our groups over hardware,” NASA wrote in its replace. “We’re trying on the parachute testing plan now and all the info we have already got to find out the following steps forward of flying the upcoming Demo-2 flight take a look at within the mid-to-late Could timeframe.”