SpaceX suffers second blow after Dragon Crew test fails

NASA

NASA admits to a second failed test for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon within a month. At a US House of Representatives hearing on May 8th, NASA’s Chief of human spaceflight Bill Gerstenmaier revealed a failure during a parachute test.

Why it is relevant. This news comes three weeks after an unrelated Crew Dragon ground test destroyed a capsule during an engine test on April 20th in Cape Canaveral. SpaceX was due to launch its crewed shuttle during the next two months. However it now seems an unlikely achievement before 2020.

At the House hearing on Wednesday, Bill Gerstenmaier expressed his dissatisfaction with the test:

«We did not get the results we wanted. The parachutes did not work as designed.»

The test carried out in Nevada was intended to showcase the Crew Dragon’s ability to land safely with three parachutes, the fourth one having been disabled beforehand. But «the three remaining chutes did not operate properly» Gerstenmaier said. As a result the shuttle was damaged as it crashed into the ground.

Elon Musk’s company is now under even more pressure in the United States, where it was supposed to give the country a renewed manned path to the International Space Station, under a 2.6 billion dollars contract with NASA.

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