Tag Archives: Dragonrider

Dragon launch abort tests scheduled

The competition heats up: SpaceX has scheduled its Dragon launch abort tests for November and January.

The Hawthorne, California-based company plans to conduct a pad abort test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in November, followed by an in-flight abort test from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in January, Garrett Reisman, SpaceX Dragon Rider program manager, said here Aug. 6 at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space 2014 conference.

In the pad-abort test, Dragon will be mounted to a mocked-up SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and use its hydrazine-fueled SuperDraco thrusters to boost itself up and away from the pad, as it might need to do in the event of a major problem just before or during liftoff. The in-flight test will attempt to repeat the feat at altitude.

In related news, two former SpaceX employees who were terminated in July when the company laid off about 400 people in an annual restructuring of its workforce have sued the company for not giving them ample notice as required by California law.

The California law is pretty clear, which means these employees will likely win, which also sounds to me like a good reason to shift SpaceX’s entire operation to Texas and its new spaceport in Brownsville.

SpaceX has completed qualification tests of the SuperDraco engines that will be used by Dragon for launch aborts as well as soft landings on land.

The competiton heats up: SpaceX has completed qualification tests of the SuperDraco thrusters that will be used by Dragon for launch aborts as well as soft landings on land.

Next comes the capsule’s first launch abort test sometime later this year.

Elon Musk outlines the upcoming test program for the development of the man-rated Dragon capsule.

Elon Musk outlines the upcoming test program for the development of the man-rated Dragon capsule.

The bottom line is that they are planning two major unmanned flight tests in 2014, followed by a manned flight test in 2015. The manned flight would use their employees, not NASA astronauts.