SpaceX admits crew capsule destroyed in April test 'anomaly'

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Tucked inside the Dragon cargo hold are four different varieties: a lung and bone marrow chip, a cartilage and bone chip, a chip that simulates the blood-brain barrier, and one that cultivates kidney cells.

"It's certainly not great news for the schedule overall", Koenigsmann said. SpaceX had planned to perform an in-flight abort test using the Crew Dragon spacecraft destroyed in the anomaly as soon as June, followed by a crewed test flight no earlier than July.

The April 20 accident occurred on a landing zone at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as SpaceX was conducting a test of emergency thrusters created to propel the capsule, dubbed Crew Dragon, to safety from atop the rocket in the event of a launch failure.

This is the first either of the two aerospace giants have revealed any details about what went wrong during the April 20 test.

It's still 'too early to determine any cause, ' he added, but said the investigation so far 'indicates that the anomaly occurred during the activation of the Super Draco system'.

'We have no reason to believe that there is an issue with the SuperDraco themselves - those have been through about 600 tests at our test facility. "That said, we're looking at all possible issues and the investigation is ongoing". NASA said six Expedition 59 crew members, including three NASA astronauts, were never in danger.

"I don't want to completely preclude the current schedule", he said.

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The news conference was called ahead of Friday's scheduled launch of an unmanned resupply mission to the International Space Station using a cargo-only capsule built by SpaceX, the private rocket venture of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

"This is why we test", Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator, said at the time in a statement.

As to the schedule of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which plans to return astronauts to space from the American soil for the first time since 2011, SpaceX is not yet sure where it stands in the timeline. The launch from pad 40 at the Air Force station is targeted for 3:11 a.m. EDT, the moment the Dragon cargo ship can be fired directly into the plane of the station's orbit.

SpaceX delayed a supply run Friday to the International Space Station, back to full power and accepting deliveries after quick repairs. SuperDraco, for the unaware, is the name SpaceX gave to the Crew Dragon's engine.

'We continue to have high confidence in that particular thruster'. They weren't used during the test flight to the space station in March.

The Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron said that launch day probability of violating weather constraints is 60 percent due to Cumulus and Thick Cloud Layer Rules and Flight Through Precipitation.

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