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SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule suffers anomaly during engine test

By Amy Thompson
April 22, 2019, 4:26:29 PM EDT


A test version of SpaceX's new astronaut taxi, dubbed the Crew Dragon, suffered some kind of an anomaly during an engine test Saturday (April 20) at the company's facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

According to Florida Today, large plumes of smoke were seen emanating from the area, indicating something had gone wrong. There were no injuries caused by the anomaly, which is now under control, according to officials with the 45th Space Wing based at the Air Force station.

"Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida," a company spokesperson told Space.com in a statement. "The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand."


SpaceX plans to use its Crew Dragon capsule to ferry NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The capsule successfully flew for the first time in March. During the uncrewed mission, the spacecraft docked itself with the space station and then returned to Earth, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

That first flight was a major milestone for SpaceX, and one it needed to complete before Dragon can carry people. Since its return, the company has been busy preparing the vehicle for its next task: an inflight abort test.

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