Plan for success. Prepare for failure. SpaceX wants to prove that a critical safety system will be able to save astronaut lives in the event of a launch emergency during the ascent. Theis scheduled for Saturday, January 18. This is a mandatory step before NASA allows astronauts to fly to the international space station ISS in the SpaceX capsule as part of the .
NASA will stream the event, with coverage starting at 4.45 p.m. PT from Saturday. SpaceX and NASA focus on 5:00 AM PT before launch, but the test has a four-hour start window to work with.
During a Friday briefing, SpaceX said it would consider extending the window, meaning that viewers can wait a long time. SpaceX also offers a live stream.
The Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are currently standing vertically on the launch platform. SpaceX tweeted a view of the arm with access to the crew that extended to the capsule. The access arm is how future astronauts board Crew Dragon, although this test flight is unscrewed.
From Friday, the weather forecast was 90% before launch, but that only tells part of the story. SpaceX and NASA also keep an eye on the ocean to ensure that the conditions are good for restoring the Falcon 9 crew capsule and possibly debris in the water.
The weather and ocean conditions are expected to change during the launch window, so it is a matter of aligning stars before launch. Backup test options are set for Sunday or Monday if Saturday fails.
Crew Dragon will take a. The launch will take place at the Kennedy Space Center of Florida, which can break the rocket over the Atlantic. It could be an eye-opening experience.
SpaceX has shared an animated video that shows how the test is expected to proceed.
If all goes well, the Crew Dragon capsule will disengage from the rocket, deploy parachutes and float gently toward the water.
A scary Russian Soyuz launch in 2018 emphasized the importance of in-flight flight systems. Theand a NASA astronaut and Roscosmos cosmonaut returned safely to Earth after a missile in the air missile.
SpaceX successfully sent anin early 2019. The ultimate goal is to make a return trip with NASA astronauts on board. If the in-flight abort test works, the first launch of people from American soil since the end of the space shuttle era should finally take place in 2020.
Originally published on January 14.