Failed SpaceX Dragon Capsule Test Confirmed
An email sent to NASA contractor employees confirms that it was SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule that was creating smoke plumes on Florida’s beaches during a test last month. SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule (also referred to as Crew Dragon), was meant to bring NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. SpaceX and NASA recently celebrated the capsule’s first flight this March.
On April 20th, Florida Today reported an anomaly at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during what was supposed to be the Dragon’s static test fire. Florida Today photographer Craig Bailey and many others captured images of orange smoke rising from a SpaceX facility at around 3:30 pm. There were no injuries, but it has been suggested that the capsule was destroyed.
Shortly after, SpaceX reported: “the initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand." Both NASA and SpaceX promised to investigate the matter, but neither NASA or SpaceX released any other information about the smoke.
Recently, however, evidence of an explosion was leaked on Twitter and alerted a NASA contractor that footage was being taken at the site. An email recovered by the Orlando Sentinel, sent to employees of Jacobs, an aerospace company, shows a video of the “failed test.” A policy was also announced promising the termination of any staff who were caught sharing photos or videos taken at the site.
SpaceX was scheduled to perform another test, possibly manned, no earlier than July. It is currently unclear how this recent failure will disrupt their plans for the launching crew.