NASA Offers More Information About Crew Dragon Anomaly


Last week, SpaceX fired up a test version of the Crew Dragon for a test but due to what was, at the time, only reported as an ‘anomaly’, plumes of smoke surrounded the spacecraft at the landing site in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

According to SpaceX, NASA sent out a team to inspect the incident and on Thursday, the agency’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel offered more information on what happened during the test via chairwoman Patricia Sanders, who is also in charge of NASA’s safety culture and risk mitigation during spaceflight.

The firing was intended to demonstrate integrated systems SuperDraco performance in two times vehicle level vibro-acoustic-like for abort environments,” Sanders said. She went on to explain that the test’s goal was to simulate the Falcon 9 rocket breaking apart and triggering an abort.

Firing of 12 service section Dracos were successfully performed,” she continued and stated that the 12 smaller Draco engines were nominal but “firing of eight SuperDracos resulted in an anomaly.”

The safety panel went on to say that, while they understand the need of the public to know more, they also need more time to collect data and develop a timeline for the anomaly in order to find out what exactly happened and why.

They also stated that it is too early to say how the incident will affect the Crew Dragon mission schedule – initially, the agency planned to send a crewed flight into space as early as October 2019 but by the looks of it, we can expect that to happen sometime in 2020.

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