NASA has released an update regarding its investigation on the cause of the explosion that destroyed SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. According to the space agency, the site of the accident has been cleaned up, allowing investigators to look further into the exact cause of the mishap.

The incident occurred on April 20 during SpaceX’s unmanned test of Crew Dragon. The explosion occurred right before the capsule’s emergency-escape thrusters were activated as part of the test. Although no one was hurt, the incident left the capsule completely destroyed.

Over a month following the explosion, NASA confirmed through a statement that it has completed the clearing operations on the site of the incident. This was a vital step to ensure that investigators from both NASA and SpaceX will be able to safely assess what exactly happened to Crew Dragon.

Since official investigations are now underway, NASA believes it will be able to determine the exact cause of the explosion.

According to initial findings, the accident happened right before the Crew Dragon’s SuperDraco thrusters were engaged. The SuperDraco thruster system was designed to maneuver the capsule to safety in case of a launch emergency. Prior to the explosion, SpaceX was able to successfully test the capsule’s other thruster systems.

Despite being owned by SpaceX, NASA is heavily invested in the success of Crew Dragon since the capsule is slated to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), according to Space.com.

On March 2, SpaceX successfully lunched the Crew Dragon on an unmanned test flight to the ISS. The company intends to fly two astronauts aboard the capsule to the space station in the near future.

However, before this happens, both NASA and SpaceX will still have to make sure that all components and features of the Crew Dragon are functioning perfectly. The two agencies emphasized that since safety is their primary concern, they will only proceed with future tests once everything is ready.

“NASA and SpaceX remain committed to the safety of our astronaut and ground crews and will proceed with flight tests when ready,” they said in a statement.

CrewDragon An artist's depiction of Crew Dragon, the SpaceX spacecraft designed for manned missions to the International Space Station. Photo: SpaceX