SpaceX targets May 5 for Dragon pad abort test
The Dragon will fly during a four-window opening around 9:30 a.m.
As a development test, NASA cautioned that "the likelihood of encountering an issue is higher than with operational missions."
The test being performed in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program is now scheduled for no earlier than May 5, with May 6 also available.
SpaceX plans to follow up this summer with an "in-flight abort" test, launched from California, in which the Dragon will attempt to escape from a Falcon 9 rocket after launch.
NASA last year awarded SpaceX and Boeing contracts, worth up to $2.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively, to fly four-person crews from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station by late 2017.
Each company plans to launch people on an orbital test flight earlier that year.
Boeing is developing the CST-100 capsule, which the company plans to assemble in a former shuttle hangar and engine shop at Kennedy Space Center.
SpaceX last Tuesday launched a cargo version of the Dragon to the space station for the seventh time. The spacecraft and its more than 4,300 pounds of supplies reached the ISS safely on Friday.
Quelle: Florida Today
SpaceX schedules May 5 pad abort test for Dragon capsule
With great fanfare, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled his sleek new Dragon capsule in May of last year. The capsule, designed to fly American astronauts to the International Space Station, features a high tech interior that easily passes the eyeball test. But now, NASA is ready to test the Dragon V2 with the far more important task of keeping astronauts safe.
"What we want to do is prove that the system has a pad abort system that can safely take the capsule away from the rocket, in the event there was some kind of a problem," said NASA spokesman George Diller.
At the heart of the crew pad abort test are the liquid-fueled SuperDraco rocket engines, mounted to the sides of the spacecraft. During the 6-second test, the engines will launch Dragon off of a test stand, hurtling it 5,000 feet into the sky over the Atlantic, where parachutes will deploy before a splash landing. No humans will be riding inside this time, but there will be a crash dummy on board, nicknamed "Buster."
"When you see in a car, the National Highway Safety Administration does crash tests with dummies in cars, you see how they react, and what the outcome is," said Diller. "We'll have the same thing here, so that's an integral part of the test, just like the systems on the capsule will be."
SpaceX has high hopes for its 3-D printed SuperDraco rocket engines. Not only are they tasked with flying the capsule to safety if something goes wrong, but also for eventually flying astronauts returning from the space station back down safely to earth.
The test is scheduled of May 5 at 9:30 a.m.
Quelle: FOX, Orlando
SpaceX Targets May 6 for Pad Abort Test of New Crew Spacecraft
SpaceX now is targeting Wednesday, May 6, for a pad abort test of its Crew Dragon, a spacecraft under final development and certification through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The test window will open at 7 a.m. EDT.
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the test, which will simulate an emergency abort from a test stand on Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.
The media briefing previewing the test will take place at 10 a.m., Friday, May 1 in the Press Site TV auditorium at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This briefing will air live on NASA TV.
Briefing participants are:
Jon Cowart, NASA’s CCP partner manager
Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of Mission Assurance at SpaceX
The ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency, and safely carry crew members out of harm's way, is a critical element for NASA's next generation of crewed spacecraft. SpaceX will perform the test under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA, but can use the data gathered during the development flight as it continues on the path to certification.
Under a separate Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, NASA's CCP will certify SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Falcon 9 rocket and ground and mission operations systems to fly crews to and from the International Space Station.
Accreditation for the test and briefing already has closed to international media. U.S. media without permanent Kennedy credentials must apply by 5 p.m. today for the briefing and by 5 p.m. Monday, May 4 for test viewing.
Green card holders must submit a scanned copy of their cards to firstname.lastname@example.org for processing no later than noon Monday, May 4. Questions about accreditation also may be addressed to Jennifer Horner by email or at 321-867-6598.
Badges for the briefing will be available for pickup Friday, May 1 at the Kennedy Badging Office on State Road 405, east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Kennedy Badging Office hours are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Badges for the abort test will be available Tuesday, May 5, beginning at 8 a.m., and Wednesday, May 6, beginning at 4 a.m. at the Press Accreditation Office on State Road 3 in Merritt Island. Two forms of unexpired, government-issued identification are required to receive a badge. One must be a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
On test day, media should plan to arrive at the press site by 5:15 a.m. for transportation to the viewing location at CCAFS. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are highly recommended.
What Will SpaceX’s Pad Abort Test Look Like?
During a pad abort test preview last week, engineers with NASA and SpaceX told us what they hope to learn from the demonstration of the company’s escape system. Below are a few more details about the sequence of events and what the test will look like if you’re watching here along Florida’s Space Coast or live on NASA TV on Wednesday, May 6.
The biggest takeaway is that this test will be quick! And that’s the point – SpaceX wants to demonstrate its ability to carry crew members away from a dangerous situation on the launch pad in a hurry. For context, Crew Dragon will accelerate from 0 to nearly 100 mph in one second. The entire test is less than two minutes long, with Dragon traveling over one mile in the first 20 seconds alone.
T-0: The eight SuperDracos ignite simultaneously and reach maximum thrust, propelling the spacecraft off the pad.
T+0.5s: After half a second of vertical flight, Crew Dragon pitches toward the ocean and continues its controlled burn. The SuperDraco engines throttle to control the trajectory based on real-time measurements from the vehicle’s sensors.
T+5s: The abort burn is terminated once all propellant is consumed and Dragon coasts for just over 15 seconds to its highest point about 1500 meters (.93 mi) above the launch pad.
T+21s: The trunk is jettisoned and the spacecraft begins a slow rotation with its heat shield pointed toward the ground again.
T+25s: Small parachutes, called drogues, are deployed first during a 4-6 second window following trunk separation.
T+35s: Once the drogue parachutes stabilize the vehicle, three main parachutes deploy and further slow the spacecraft before splashdown.
T+107s: Dragon splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean about 2,200 meters (1.4 miles) downrange of the launch pad.
Quelle: SpaceX, NASA
Update: 23.45 MESZ
SpaceX's Dragon crew capsule fires its SuperDraco escape engines on May 5, 2015, one day before a crucial pad abort test at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Credit: SpaceX/Elon Musk (via Twitter as @elonmusk)
SpaceX's Dragon astronaut taxi will blast off with a dummy on board Wednesday (May 6) in a crucial safety test, and you can watch all of the action live.
An unmanned but dummy-carrying Dragon test vehicle is scheduled to launch Wednesday from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT), though the window extends to 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT). The Dragon pad abort test, as it is called, is designed to see how a SpaceX crew capsule would perform in the event of a launch emergency. You can watch the SpaceX test launch live on Space.com beginning at 6:35 a.m. EDT (1035 GMT), courtesy of NASA TV.
Update: 6.05.2015 / 8.25 MESZ
Update: 15.15 MESZ
Erfolgreicher Pad Abort Test von Dragon-Crew-Kapsel