Xinhua News Agency, Washington, January 19 (Reporter Zhou Zhou) The manned version of the “Dragon” spacecraft of the American Space Exploration Technology Corporation completed the “in-flight launch suspension test” on the 19th, verifying the astronaut’s ability to escape in the event of an emergency in the ascending segment of the rocket.
At 10:30 on the 19th Eastern Time (23:30 on the 19th Beijing time), the manned version of the “Dragon” spacecraft carrying two dummies took a “Falcon 9” rocket from 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida The launchpad took off.
The NASA live broadcast showed that the first stage engine of the Falcon 9 rocket was turned off after 1 minute and 30 seconds of launch. Eight “Super Draco” engines on the “Dragon” spacecraft that powered the escape system separated the arrows. The Falcon Rocket then disintegrated.
The live broadcast screen showed that the spacecraft that had climbed to the highest point abandoned its main section about 2 minutes and 24 seconds after the launch, and the direction was adjusted by the smaller “Dragon” thruster to re-enter the spacecraft’s passenger compartment into the atmosphere.
About 4 minutes and 47 seconds after the launch, two guide parachutes and four main parachutes were successfully opened, and the spacecraft softly landed on the Atlantic Ocean. The whole process from launch to landing took about 9 minutes.
According to reports, this will be the last launch escape test of the “Dragon” spacecraft before the manned flight. NASA plans to send American astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Benken to the International Space Station this year with a manned version of the Dragon spacecraft.
In March 2019, the manned version of the “Dragon” spacecraft completed its first unmanned test flight, but in April of that year, the spacecraft’s “Super Dragon” engine experienced an abnormality in a static ignition test, which delayed the flight originally planned for the summer of that year. The test was aborted during the launch.
After the US space shuttle was retired in 2011, the United States transported astronauts to and from the space station, all relying on Russian spacecraft. To change this, NASA strongly supports commercial human spaceflight.
In 2014, Boeing and Space Exploration Technology won a total contract of $ 6.8 billion from NASA to build the “Starcraft” manned spacecraft and the manned version of the “Dragon” spacecraft, but the first flight time of the two spacecraft was originally planned. 2017 was postponed many times.