Spaceflight Insider

SpaceX in-flight abort test moved from Vandenberg to KSC

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Dragon Pad Abort Test Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 photo credit Michael Seeley SpaceFlight Insider

Photo Credit: Michael Seeley / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — NASA announced late in the day on Thursday, July 2, that SpaceX’s in-flight abort test would move from Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 4E in California to Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A in Florida. 

WKMG Local 6 has reported that it is not known at present when the in-flight abort test will be carried out. However, it will likely take place later than this fall when the test had been scheduled to take place.

Before the in-flight abort test takes place, SpaceX will launch an orbital test flight of the crew-rated dragon (without the crew). Once that mission has been completed and that Dragon has been recovered and restored, it will be used on the in-flight abort test.

Whereas the launch pad abort test on May 6, 2015, demonstrated the crew-rated Dragon’s ability to lift astronauts away from an accident at the launch site, the in-flight abort test will validate the craft’s ability to do the same – from a launch vehicle on ascent.

If everything goes according to plan, the Falcon 9 will lift off from LC-39A and, at about a minute-and-a-half into the flight, when the booster is passing through the period of the flight known as maximum dynamic pressure or “max-Q” – the abort system will be activated. The Dragon spacecraft will then pull away from the Falcon 9, deploy its parachutes and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean.

 

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Jason Rhian spent several years honing his skills with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and other organizations. He has provided content for outlets such as: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.

Reader Comments

Gary Winkler

when you can’t build a shuttle mission control in California….issue.

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