SpaceX has released a new video of its launch pad emergency simulation wherein its Drgaon capsule is shown as blasting off and ultimately splashing down in the Atlantic. The video is from the perspective of the crew capsule and we would say its stunning!
SpaceX successfully tested its launch abort test earlier, which showed how the company has planned out an escape system to whisk astronauts to safety in the case of emergency aboard the company’s space station crew ships.
Manned only by a test dummy, the Dragon capsule blasted off at Cape Canaveral, accelerated to a whopping zero to 100 mph in just 1.2 seconds, climbed an altitude of 4,500 feet before arcing over the Atlantic Ocean, deploying parachutes and drifting down into the water.
SpaceX released the latest video on Friday showing the abort test from the perspective of the crew capsule itself. After reaching an altitude of 4,500 feet, the Dragon crew capsule is shown separating from its finned trunk section and flipping end-over-end to deploy small drogue parachutes to stabilize it. Soon after, three larger parachutes unfurl to slow the vehicle for splashdown.
The satellite launch company revealed that Dragon capsule packs eight SuperDraco engines into its sides, which can quickly propel a crew to safety if there is any emergency like a booster failure at any point from the launch pad to orbit. The company also revealed that once activated, these engines produce 120,000 pounds of thrust, propelling the capsule and its crew away from danger.
“It is similar to an ejection seat for a fighter pilot, but instead of ejecting the pilot out of the spacecraft, the entire spacecraft is ‘ejected’ away from the launch vehicle”, the company said in a statement.