Elon Musk's SpaceX suffers capsule
anomaly during Florida tests
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[April 22, 2019]
(Reuters) - Elon Musk's SpaceX suffered an anomaly in one of its
Crew Dragon capsules while conducting engine tests at the Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station in Florida on Saturday, the company said.
"The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in
an anomaly on the test stand," the company said in a statement.
The issue was earlier reported by Florida Today, which said orange smoke
was seen rising above SpaceX's facilities, and that the anomaly was
contained with no injuries.
SpaceX said its teams are investigating and are working closely with
U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) partners.
"NASA has been notified about the results of the SpaceX Static Fire Test
and the anomaly that occurred during the final test," its administrator
Jim Bridenstine said in a tweet.
"This is why we test. We will learn, make the necessary adjustments and
safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program," he added.
NASA has awarded SpaceX and Boeing Co a total of $6.8 billion to build
competing rocket and capsule systems to launch astronauts into orbit
from American soil.
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on launch
pad 39A prior to the uncrewed test flight to the International Space
Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida,
U.S., March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
In March, the privately owned SpaceX successfully completed its
mission of sending an unmanned capsule to the International Space
Station and returned safely to Earth, a mission seen as crucial to
NASA's plans to resume human space flight from U.S. soil.
SpaceX's first crewed test flight is slated to launch in July with
U.S. astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Sabahatjahan Contractor in
Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
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