Elon Musk: SpaceX May Conduct Crew Dragon Abort Test Soon

Joanna Estrada
October 10, 2019

According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, its Crew Dragon spacecraft could be almost ready to carry its first astronauts from Florida to the International Space Station by the end of the year.

"Source says "full panic has ensued" as NASA realizes commercial crew may not be ready in first half of 2020; and (former NASA head of human exploration and operations Bill) Gerstenmeier is no longer around to help the companies along, or negotiate with Russians for more Soyuz seats".

He will share that live stream as he answers questions from the news media at 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDT) from SpaceX headquarters.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently announced that a key Crew Dragon safety test could take place as early as November.

Tensions? Just days ago, the NASA chief bristled at Musk on Twitter for celebrating an unrelated milestone achieved on SpaceX's deep-space Starship rocket while completion of the Crew Dragon project remained delayed.

$6.8B had been awarded to both SpaceX and Boeing to build a vehicle capable of returning astronauts to the International Space Station from USA soil.

He will tour the facility and then take questions from reporters, along with Musk, and NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who will be the first crew members to fly on Crew Dragon.

Apart from a display of unity, SpaceX and NASA were expected to update journalists on Thursday on the Crew Dragon launch schedule and technical difficulties, including concerns over parachutes and an investigation into an explosion during a capsule ground test in April. The space agency is anxious to stop paying $85 million a pop to use Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for launching its astronauts to the ISS.

SpaceX also has to complete an in-flight abort test. The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft that will be used for the abort test arrived in Cape Canaveral earlier this month.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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