Things were going well for SpaceX: it was chosen by NASA to spearhead the Double Asteroid Redirection Test and the Crew Dragon capsule launched and landed without a problem; the company was looking forward to the future crewed flights
Unfortunately, on April 20th, a test version of the Crew Dragon spacecraft suffered an anomaly during an engine test, with thick smoke being seen by the onlookers from miles away.
Both NASA and SpaceX began to investigate the incident immediately and leader of space station mission operations, Kenny Todd, stated that both teams are working closely with each other. Now it has been officially confirmed that one of the Crew Dragon capsules was destroyed during the test.
“Here’s what we can confirm … just prior to when we wanted to fire the SuperDraco, there was an anomaly, and the vehicle was destroyed,” Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX Vice President of Mission Assurance said in a press statement.
While it’s still possible to get the company’s schedule back up just in time for a manned Crew Dragon flight, Koenigsmann admitted that the situation was ‘not great news for the schedule overall.’
For the time being, the investigation is still ongoing and other Crew Dragon spacecrafts were already under construction when the anomaly happened, which is somewhat of a silver lining for SpaceX.