NASA Workers Banned From Sharing Images After SpaceX Capsule Explosion Leak


SpaceX's next cargo mission to the International Space Station has been delayed by at least 24 hours due to technical issues. The impact to the schedule will depend on the results of the accident investigation, he said. Now it had to use a new one and Koenigsmann said more crew Dragons are being built. If the Falcon 9 rocket can not make this launch attempt for some reason, officials said at a news conference Thursday that the Cape Canaveral launch range would enter into a week of maintenance, and stand down from launches during that time.

"Here's what we can confirm", Hans Koenigsmann, Vice President of mission assurance said in a briefing, CNBC reports.

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.

"While it is too early to confirm any cause, whether probable or crude, the initial data indicates that the anomaly occurred during the activation of the SuperDraco system", he added. The capsule had successfully test-fired its smaller Draco thrusters, but just before it fired its SuperDraco engines, "there was an anomaly and the vehicle was destroyed".

The company's two-stage Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch a robotic Dragon cargo capsule from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:11 a.m. EDT (0711 GMT) today (May 3). While Crew Dragon - which is, as the name suggests, created to transport up to four human passengers rather than just cargo - is based on the same core design, it has the SuperDraco thrusters while the cargo variant does not.

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"The vehicle was destroyed", Koenigsmann said.

NASA has its hopes and money riding on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS, after its contract with the Russian space agency expired in 2014. He did note that SpaceX has other Dragons in its fleet.

The mission previously had been set for Wednesday but an issue with the International Space Station's electrical power system earlier in the week had caused a delay. Earlier in the week, the flight was postponed by a major power shortage at the space station. Weather is forecast to be favorable, with a 70 percent chance of "go" conditions.

Boeing also has encountered recent delays with its Starliner crew capsules.