After blowing up a rocket on purpose — SpaceX is now ready to send astronauts into space by summer

After blowing up a rocket on purpose — SpaceX is now ready to send astronauts into space by summer
Elon Musk, CEO and founder of SpaceX, at the post-launch conference on SundaySpaceX/NASA press conference

  • SpaceX successfully tested the launch abort system of the Crew Dragon capsule on Sunday by blowing up a Falcon 9 rocket.
  • CEO and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said that the company could be ready as soon as April to send astronauts to the International Space Space (ISS) during the post-launch conference.
  • However, there are still a lot of checks in place that need to be green-lit before SpaceX gets off the ground.
The main concern of sending astronauts up to space is whether or not they will be able to successfully escape if something were to go wrong. Sunday's abort test of the Falcon 9 rocket was done to prove that point — in the event of a launch emergency, the spacecraft will eject and keep astronauts safe.

Elon Musk, the CEO and founder of SpaceX, believes that Demo-2, a crewed flight test that will take astronauts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the International Space Station (ISS), could happen during the second quarter of 2020.

"The collective wisdom at this point is that we are highly confident that hardware will be ready in Q1, most likely in February but no later than March. It appears probable that the first crewed launch will occur in the second quarter," he said during the post-launch conference,

Probable launch of Crew Dragon between April to June
While SpaceX is aiming to launch Crew Dragon sometime between April to June, there's still a lot left to be done. For starters, the data from the abort test still has to be analysed.

"As crew members, our families — as you can imagine — were very interested in these space systems and how well they work. So, we'll be following very closely as the data comes in and we continue to analyse it," said one of the NASA astronauts at the conference.

In addition to analysing the results of the abort tests, SpaceX hardware also needs to undergo rigorous testing before flying real-life humans into space at double the speed of sound.

"The hardware necessary for the crewed launch we believe will be ready by the end of February. However, there's still a lot of work once the hardware is ready to just cross-check everything… So that every stone has been turned over three or four times," explained Musk.

While checking and double-checking the hardware will take its own time, SpaceX will also have to find a feasible time slot to make the launch happen.

"There's also the schedule for getting to the space station because it has a lot of things going into it so what's the right timing for this," he added.

See also:
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