SpaceX is getting ready to launch two astronauts into the International space station, in a few months. Its director of crew mission management, Benji Reed, said “the main objective of this test, is to show that we can carry the astronauts safely away from the rocket in case anything goes wrong”, during the last big test of its crew capsule, which mimics an emergency escape shortly after liftoff.
The two NASA astronauts assigned to the first SpaceX crew, Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken, monitored the flight from the firing room and also took part in a dress rehearsal – suiting up and heading to the launch pad. The capsule reached an altitude of about 27miles(44 kilometers) before parachuting into the ocean to bring the nine minute test flight to an end.
It wasn’t just the SpaceX and NASA employees who witnessed the action from the Kennedy space centre, a lot of other tourists and locals alike packed the adjoining visitors complex and nearby beaches. The launch, which was scheduled for Saturday, got delayed by a day due to bad weather.
NASA’s commercial crew program manager, Kathy Lueders reported that this was their last open milestone and that they were purposely failing a launch vehicle to make sure that the abort system on the spacecraft works.