NASA Says SpaceX Crew Capsule Could Get Fixed to Fly Astronauts by End of 2019

NASA says there’s a chance SpaceX can launch two astronauts aboard the company’s Crew Dragon capsule by the end of the year if SpaceX can make fixes that caused a catastrophic test failure.

On April 20, the Crew Dragon slated for the in-flight abort test exploded on a test stand at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station an instant before a planned static firing of the capsule’s eight Super Draco abort engines. No one was injured, but the Demo 1 capsule was destroyed.

Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s commercial crew program, said the capsule originally intended to carry the first astronauts will now be used for the in-flight abort test and another downstream capsule, originally planned for the first operational Crew Dragon flight to the ISS, will serve as the Demo 2 vehicle.

9 thoughts on “NASA Says SpaceX Crew Capsule Could Get Fixed to Fly Astronauts by End of 2019”

  1. Seriously the algorithm that generates this is improving a lot. This was just about on topic, and sort of coherent at least on a sentence by sentence basis.

  2. Or better, do propulsive landings on land or barges, so there’s no exposure to salt at all. Oh, wait, SpaceX was going to do that, until NASA forbid it….

  3. If they’re convinced the cause is salt water damage, then the cure is quick and easy: just use a new capsule each time, which NASA requires anyway.

  4. The investigation is not finished yet, however this statement would indicate that they likely know the cause and are wrapping up the investigation. Possibly we’ll hear the results soon.

  5. While not providing any details about the cause of the explosion or what corrective actions might be required

    Not very encouraging words.

  6. Possible, yes. Probable, no. It really depends on what the investigation finds as the root cause, and (assuming a change is needed) the change can be implemented, tested, and certified in time. NASA and SpaceX won’t change the schedule until it becomes a lot clearer on just what happened to cause the RUD and what, if any, fixes are required.

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