Dragon launchpad abort test a success

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

The competition heats up: SpaceX’s first abort test of its Dragon capsule was completed successfully this morning.

The test not only demonstrated the capsule’s ability to escape the launchpad and land safely in the ocean nearby, it proved that its SuperDraco thrusters have the power to lift the spacecraft off the pad, which also means they have the power to lower the capsule to a soft landing on land.

Video embedded below.


  • geoffc

    It was an amazing test to watch. Looked like an Estes model rocket! Goes up super fast, for 2-5 seconds of thrust, then the parachutes pop, and it slowly drifts down.

    They hit the 9AM opening of the test window spot on. No delays, no if, ands, or buts.

    They do seem like they were underpowered and something was not perfect, but boy it looked good! They landed fairly close to the shore though, some are speculating due to the lower than expected thrust. (The whole schedule was few seconds often due to it).

  • mivenho

    One of the thrusters may have underperformed, but (apparently) system redundancy ensured success. There’s no better way to identify shortcomings than to perform tests like this one.

  • Pzatchok

    I would like to see them do a dry land landing test soon.

    But this one was nice.

    I hope Gumby their test dummy liked the ride.

  • PeterF

    I did not know that the SuperDracos are 3D printed. When did they name the test dummy? Maybe he’ll get to retire to the Mythbusters show and hang out with Buster (who is looking a bit worse for the wear)

  • pzatchok

    He has not been named yet but maybe we can come up with a good one and hope it sticks.

    I would be nice if he could take his cousin Buster upon the next ride. Buster needs a ride on something that will work right and not make him fall all to pieces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *