SpaceX said July 15 that the explosion that destroyed a Crew Dragon spacecraft during a ground test in April was likely caused by oxidizer that leaked into the spacecraft’s propulsion system and destroyed a valve, but didn’t give a firm schedule for resuming test flights.
An incident involving a test of parachutes for one commercial crew vehicle has heightened awareness of the challenges involved in developing those systems, as well as determining what constitutes an anomaly.
A SpaceX executive May 2 provided new details about, but no cause of, an incident that destroyed a Crew Dragon spacecraft during a ground test last month.
Members of an independent safety panel said it will take time to determine what happened during a SpaceX Crew Dragon testing incident several days ago, and that its impact to the overall commercial crew program remains uncertain.
NASA is moving ahead with plans to launch a cargo version of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station next week as the investigation into an explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft continues.
A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft suffered what the company said was an “anomaly” during static fire tests of its abort engines April 22, dealing a setback to the company’s plans to fly a crewed test flight later this year.
Even before the launch, NASA officials said there was already work identified before the Demo-1 flight that needed to get done before the agency would consider flying astronauts on board.