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SpaceX's next Crew Dragon test could take place next week



An "anomaly" that occurred during another static fire test in April caused a shattered capsule to explode. Earlier this month, SpaceX suggested that the problem was due to a leak somewhere between launch abortion and orbital maneuvering systems. He redesigned this part of the capsule.

The capsule will eventually transport up to seven astronauts to the International Space Station at a time. An empty Crew Dragon docked at the ISS and successfully returned to Earth during a March test.

If all goes well during the static fire, SpaceX should move on to the next test: an "abortion in flight" centered on the SuperDraco safety system. SpaceX would connect an empty Crew Dragon to a rocket and shortly after takeoff would activate the system. It also plans to perform at least 10 tests of the Crew Dragon parachute system. A manned test, Demo-2, could take place early next year.

Meanwhile, Boeing is expected to test its own Starliner capsule with an unlocked ISS flight in December. Boeing and SpaceX have contracts with NASA for human spaceflight systems under the Commerical Crew program. Both had problems with the capsules that caused delays in the crew launch.

Update: SpaceX didn't confirm the timing, but tweeted this video from Crew Dragon's "updated release exhaust system" firing ahead of planned static fire and launch cancellation tests.


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