SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will take flight on a Falcon 9 rocket for a launch escape test.
Plan for success. Prepare for failure. SpaceX is setting out to prove that a critical safety system will be able to save astronaut lives in the event of a launch emergency.
The Crew Dragon in-flight abort test is scheduled for Jan. 18. This is a required 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 announced on Tuesday it will livestream the event, with coverage starting at 4:45 a.m. PT on Saturday. SpaceX and NASA are targeting 5 a.m. PT for the launch, but the test has a four-hour launch window to work with.
Crew Dragon will take a ride on a Falcon 9 rocket, which won’t survive the test. The launch will take place at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, which will allow the rocket to break up over the Atlantic Ocean. It could be quite an eye-opening experience.