A problem surfaced while SpaceX was preparing for the first crewed flight of the Crew Dragon. A test element was carried skyward with the help of a helicopter as the company aimed to test the parachute system of the vehicle before the launch.
The Demo-2 mission, which should take place towards the end of May, will take two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. It is a significant event since it will be the first crewed orbital flight that takes place in the U.S. since the space shuttle mission was retired in 2011.
While the helicopter gained altitude, the test object became unstable. To avoid potential accidents, it was decided that the emergency release mechanism should be activated, dropping the test article. Since the desired height wasn’t achieved, the parachute wasn’t armed, and the option to initiate the deployment sequence was out of the question.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Parachute Test Aborted
It is worth noting that the test article may have been lost, but the consequence did not occur due to a failure related to the parachute system, and there were also no injuries. Space X and NASA will work together to elaborate on the final tests that will take place before the second demo mission of the Crew Dragon.
NASA has awarded several contracts to SpaceX for the development of the Crew Dragon. Boeing has also received a contract for the manufacturing of its own crew capsule, the CST-100 Starliner.
The Crew Dragon had already completed an uncrewed test in 2019, and there were no issues. Boeing attempted a similar test last December, but the Starliner did not manage to reach the ISS, and it spent two days orbiting around Earth before it landed in New Mexico. According to Being representatives, the problem was caused by software issues. In other news, SpaceX has launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites, and more launches will take place soon.