SpaceX has just completed a series of successful tests of its Crew Dragon parachutes. The aerospace manufacturer marked the occasion by sharing a thrilling video of the event.
Crew Dragon is the successor of the Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX hopes to successfully implement the reusable spacecraft into regular space operations following testing. The mission of the project is to help deliver NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by early 2020. Now, with successful testing, this goal is close to becoming a reality.
TechCrunch reports on a tweet that the company shared yesterday. SpaceX said that it achieved what it hoped to in the test and posted an exiting video with the tweet. The footage starts with a point of view shots of the parachute leaving the spacecraft. Then, the video cuts between angles below and adjacent to the parachute as it lands in the expansive desert.
SpaceX team has completed 13 successful tests in a row of upgraded Mark 3 parachutes for Crew Dragon. Most recent test demonstrated the parachute system’s ability to land the spacecraft safely in the unlikely event that one of the four main parachutes fails. pic.twitter.com/VJzDeS8UAG
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 3, 2019
“SpaceX team has completed 13 successful tests in a row of upgraded Mark 3 parachutes for Crew Dragon,” the tweet read. “Most recent test demonstrated the parachute system’s ability to land the spacecraft safely in the unlikely event that one of the four main parachutes fails.”
Series of successes
There was a successful test of the spaceship docking at the ISS earlier this year. Although, this event was unmanned, with SpaceX hoping to conduct manned tests next year.
Last month, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine joined SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at his company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The duo lead a press conference and shared the partnership’s progress on the crew program. At the time, the pair targeted at least 10 successful tests, but they have now smashed that goal.
“We certainly want to get […] at least on the order of 10 successful tests in a row before, before launching astronauts,” Musk said at the conference as reported by TechCrunch.
“So that seems like where the behavior of the parachutes is consistent, is across 10 successful tests.”
In the right direction
The fact that the project saw 13 successful tests means that they completed its testing on time. This event is rare for SpaceX and this program as milestone goals for the Crew Dragon has constantly been delayed.
Namely, a 14-day crewed demonstration mission to the ISS was planned for July. However, a Dragon capsule explosion on April 20 caused the project managers to push back its schedule.
It has now been 17 years since Tesla founder Elon Musk created SpaceX. The company was started with the mission of reducing space transportation costs. Subsequently, Musk hopes to use the money saved to enable the colonization of Mars.
Since its founding, the firm has developed the Falcon launch vehicle family, along with the Dragon spacecraft range. It is also gearing up to operate its new Starlink program.
What do you think of the Crew Dragon program? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.