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SpaceX to launch cargo resupply mission despite Crew Dragon mishap
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Apr 22, 2019

The "anomaly" experienced by SpaceX's Crew Dragon over the weekend won't affect the company's planned space station resupply mission.

According to NASA officials, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is still scheduled to launch the company's Dragon cargo spacecraft on April 30.

"The NASA and SpaceX teams are still assessing the anomaly that occurred, but I can tell you we are still tracking, as of today, for Tuesday, April 30, and that launch will be at 4:22 a.m. Eastern time," NASA public affairs officer Joshua Finch told reporters during a teleconference on Monday, according to Space.com.

The resupply mission was originally scheduled to blast-off on April 26, but last week, NASA announced a delay.

"April 30 is the most viable date for both NASA and SpaceX due to station and orbital mechanics constraints," the space agency noted in an update.

On Saturday, a cloud of smoke rising from test facilities at Cape Canaveral could be seen from miles away. Reports confirmed the smoke was the result of an explosive accident involving SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

Both SpaceX and NASA acknowledged the failure.

SpaceX referred to the accident an "anomaly" during the final of a series of engine test fires.

"Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting anomalies like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test," SpaceX told UPI in released statement. "Our teams are investigating and working closely with our NASA partners."

An unverified video of the accident, first published by Business Insider, shows what appears to the Crew Dragon spacecraft being destroyed by a fiery explosion.

Though SpaceX has yet to confirm the authenticity of the video, the company did report that the anomaly was quickly contained and that no one was injured.

"The NASA and SpaceX teams are assessing the anomaly that occurred today during a part of the Dragon Super Draco Static Fire Test at SpaceX Landing Zone 1 in Florida," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted on Saturday. "This is why we test. We will learn, make the necessary adjustments and safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program."

The exploded spacecraft was the same vessel that completed the first commercial crew program test flight earlier this year. The Crew Dragon capsule was supposed to conduct another test flight this summer. The latest accident could jeopardize NASA's plans to launch American astronauts from the United States.

Currently, the space agency and its astronauts rely on Russian rockets and crew capsules to ferry Americans to and from ISS -- an agreement with Roscosmos that ends in early 2020.

Related Links
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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SpaceX Crew Dragon test firing results in cloud of smoke, called 'anomaly'
Orlando FL (UPI) Apr 20, 2019
A cloud of smoke was seen at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Saturday, which SpaceX and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine described as an "anomaly" that occurred during a test firing of the Crew Dragon capsule's thrusters. Bridenstine tweeted that the nation's planned space missions with crews will move forward safely. The test firing was a preliminary event leading to a return to manned launches from the United States, which hasn't happened since the last space shuttle lifted off in 2011. The smok ... read more

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