SpaceX Preps Crew Dragon Spacecraft for Two Test Flights by Year’s End

Jeff Brody

SpaceX is preparing two Crew Dragon capsules for separate test flights by the year’s end following a failed in-flight abort test last April, Spaceflight Now reported Tuesday.

Kathy Lueders, NASA's commercial crew program manager, told the NASA Advisory Council that SpaceX will conduct another emergency abort test in July using the original Demo 2 capsule, which was previously intended for the first crewed test flight to the International Space Station.

A second downstream capsule, whose initial purpose was to host the spacecraft’s first operational fight to the ISS, will serve as the new Demo 2 spacecraft.

According to Leuders, NASA is working on the test failure investigation and the team will conduct more critical assessments ahead of the two test flights.

SpaceX, who heads the investigation, is yet to disclose more details on the failed abort test. The explosion was reported to have occurred an instant before the planned ignition of the aircraft's engines.

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