BREAKING: #SpaceX Crew Dragon suffered an anomaly during test fire today, according to 45th Space Wing. Smoke could be seen on the beaches.
“On April 20, an anomaly occurred at Cape Canaveral AFS during Dragon 2 static test fire. Anomaly was contained and no injuries.” pic.twitter.com/If5rdeGRXO
— Emre Kelly (@EmreKelly) April 20, 2019
In this photo taken from a Kennedy Space Center tour bus, an orange plume rises from a SpaceX Crew Dragon test vehicle after an accident during engine testing at Cape Canaveral (📷: @fsedano). FULL STORY: https://t.co/9RbqgB0jKo pic.twitter.com/RLfaIZeY8M
— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) April 21, 2019
SpaceX issued the following statement:
“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. The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand. Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting anomalies like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test. Our teams are investigating and working closely with our NASA partners.”
Editor’s Note: My guess is they were running tests of the SuperDraco engines that will be used on the escape system. There is an in-flight abort test scheduled using the Crew Dragon capsule that just visited the space station. That is set to take place prior to the Crew Dragon flight with astronauts aboard scheduled for sometime in July.
It’s not clear what vehicle they were using today for the test.