Two minute read. Written with primary inputs from Ranesh Mohan – a Grade 8 student
SpaceX and NASA will carry out a very important test on Saturday as part of a Space programme that will send astronauts into space.
Whats’ Space X ?
SpaceX is a rocket company founded by American technology billionaire Elon Musk (picture below). He created it with the idea of carrying human to Mars. That was 18 years ago.
Today, Space X is getting ready to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (while the Mars programme is also carrying on as part of Mr. Musk’s dream)
What is the International Space Station?
The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station (literally a station in space) that is a joint project between five space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
To send astronauts into space there is a lot of testing that needs to be done. Space X and NASA have already tested many rockets and trained astronauts for this purpose. Now one last final test is left.
What’s the test going to be?
On Saturday morning (U.S. time), Space X will test something called the in-flight abort system of its Crew Dragon spacecraft. What that means is that it will test the Crew Escape System that is an emergency escape system that needs to work in case the launch is aborted. Aborted (stopping) means that during take-off, if something goes wrong then the astronauts need to be saved. In such a case the capsule in which they are there should zip off and land away from the rocket, which is called Falcon 9. The capsule is supposed to float down with parachutes to the Atlantic Ocean. So this is the main test that needs to go right on Saturday. It is to ensure the safety of the astronauts.
If this is confusing, here’s a recap: The rocket is called falcon 9. The Crew Escape System is a capsule, called Crew Dragon spacecraft that needs to carry the astronauts to safety in case the rocket has to abort (stop) during launch.
Now SpaceX is getting ready to test this. It will happen on Saturday at 1300
Mean Time). It uses four Super Draco thrusters to launch the crew module.
SpaceX will study information on what happens inside the cabin during the abort when the rocket reaches maximum atmospheric pressure. The capsule will be recovered but not the rocket. There will be no people inside for the test flight but the astronauts will be going through the steps as if they will take the flight to the International Space Station (ISS).
When the final launch happens, it will carry NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station.
Watch this space for more news on Space!
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