KEY POINTS

  • Crew Dragon of SpaceX prepares for final test
  • Crew Dragon to be launched with Falcon 9 rocket
  • The test will happen Saturday in Florida

SpaceX is getting ready for a crucial Crew Dragon test flight scheduled this Saturday. The Crew Dragon capsule will be mounted on a Falcon 9 rocket for the launch test.

The upcoming Crew Dragon in-flight abort test will prove that the capsule is capable of pulling out the astronaut crews in case of failure during launch, Space.com reported. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter Saturday to announce that the crucial test launch before sending astronauts is good to go.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also announced this week that the in-flight abort launch will happen Saturday at 8 a.m. ET from Kennedy Space Center located in Florida. If the test goes as planned, Crew Dragon will eject itself from a rocket as it fires toward space so as to showcase how it will carry the astronauts if there is a fault during launch.

Crew Dragon is designed to enter into space on top of a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket manufactured by SpaceX. In the first stage, Falcon 9 gives the boost at liftoff and in the next stage, it blasts off its own engine to launch Crew Dragon more than 16,000 miles per hour, which is swift enough to enter the Earth's orbit.

According to CNN, special engines, known as SuperDracos, will be used in the spacecraft that are devised to eject the vehicle away from a rocket during an accident. Later, tiny thrusters will guide Crew Dragon as it retreats into the atmosphere. The capsule is equipped with parachutes that will open and slow its fall as it lands into the Atlantic Ocean. There will be a recovery ship ready to bring it back to safety.

SpaceX is banking on this test to win NASA’s trust after it asked private players to build spacecraft that can carry astronauts. After the Space Shuttle program discontinued in 2011, NASA allotted Boeing $4.2 billion and SpaceX $2.6 billion to develop the spacecraft.

However, Boeing suffered a major loss when its Starliner spacecraft failed in December during the orbital test flight. Now, all eyes are on SpaceX. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are the first two passengers selected by NASA.

An image grab taken from a SpaceX video shows the launch of sixty mini-satellites on a Falcon-9 rocket An image grab taken from a SpaceX video shows the launch of sixty mini-satellites on a Falcon-9 rocket Photo: SPACEX / HO