SpaceX Tests Dragon Capsule Escape System


SpaceX has conducted the first major test of its brand new, super-streamlined launch escape system for astronauts. No humans were on board the mock-up capsule for today’s (May 6) 90-second flight from Cape Canaveral, just a dummy. The Dragon capsule was fired from a test stand, not a rocket, and soared close to a mile high before parachuting into the Atlantic about a mile offshore. Eight rocket engines on the capsule will provided the thrust. The California-based company led by billionaire Elon Musk aims to launch U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station as early as 2017. Boeing is designing its own crew capsule. NASA wants to make sure the commercial crew flights will be safe, and is insisting on reliable escape systems.