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SpaceX plans to blast a Falcon 9 rocket Saturday: How to look



SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule will fly on a Falcon 9 rocket for an evacuation test.


SpaceX

Plan for success. Prepare for failure. SpaceX intends to prove that a critical safety system will be able to save astronauts in the event of a launch emergency during ascent.

The Crew Dragon in-flight abortion test is scheduled for Saturday, January 1

8. This is a necessary step before NASA will allow astronauts to fly to the International Space Station in the SpaceX capsule as part of the Commercial Crew Program .

NASA will live stream the event, with coverage beginning at 04.45 PT on Saturday. SpaceX and NASA target 5PM PT for launch, but the test has a four-hour launch window to work with.

During a Friday briefing, SpaceX said it would consider expanding the window, which means viewers may be in for a long wait. SpaceX also offers a live stream.

Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are currently vertical at the launch pad. SpaceX tweeted a view of the crew access arm extending toward the canister. The supply arm is how future astronauts will board the Crew Dragon, though this test flight will be unloaded.

As of Friday, the weather forecast 90% for launch, but that tells only part of the story. SpaceX and NASA are also keeping an eye on the ocean to ensure conditions are good for recovering the crew capsule and any debris from Falcon 9 in the water.

Weather and sea conditions are expected to change throughout the launch window, so it is a matter of whether the stars are adjusted before launch. Backup options are set on Sunday or Monday if Saturday does not work.

The Crew Dragon will take a ride on a Falcon 9 rocket, which will not survive the test . The launch will take place at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, allowing the rocket to break up across the Atlantic. It can be a pretty open-ended experience.

SpaceX shared an animated video showing how the test is expected to go.

If all goes well, the Crew Dragon capsule will differ from the rocket, disperse parachutes and float gently down to the water.

A scary Russian Soyuz launch in 2018 highlighted the importance of flight systems in flight. The Soyuz system worked as planned and a NASA astronaut and Roscosmos cosmonaut returned safely to Earth after a failed mid-air rocket.

SpaceX successfully sent a undamaged Crew Dragon to the ISS in early 2019. The ultimate goal is to make a round trip with NASA astronauts on board. If the abortion test during the flight works, the first launch of humans from US soil since the end of the space shuttle era should finally take place in 2020.







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Originally published January 14.


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