American aerospace manufacturer and space transport service company Space Exploration Technologies, Corp. or more commonly known as SpaceX has successfully accomplished a static-fire test of Crew Dragon -- a space taxi launch system (which the Crew Dragon failed and caused an explosion last April).


SpaceX released the photos of the Crew Dragon's SuperDraco thrusters after the successful run at the company's testing facility in Florida. The success of this test launch is considered the first step to flying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station starting 2020. In their recent tweet, SpaceX announced that the company is teaming up with NASA to review the test data and start working toward an in-flight demonstration of Crew Dragon's launch escape system. 

The design for the system came as the need for evacuation plans during emergency launching arose. Crew Dragon's SuperDraco thrusters' system is designed to be activated in cases of emergency during the early stages of the space taxi's ascent to orbit. The thrusters would propel capsules and the crew inside away from the Falcon 9, which will be used to transport them to the ISS. The thrusters will then land the crew safely with the parachute-assisted landing.

As preliminary testing, SpaceX organized to fly an uncrewed mission as a demonstration to the capacity of the vehicle last March. If the company succeeds in accomplishing the in-flight demonstration, it will greenlight its first crewed flight to the International Space Station using the Crew Dragon early next year.

The development could have been accomplished at a much earlier time if not for the destruction of a Crew Dragon capsule last April due to a leak in the propellant tank leak, which pushed a slug of liquid oxidizer in a helium check valve at high pressure. This triggered an explosion in the titanium plumbing of the thruster system. As a result, the company redesigned the Crew Dragon's pressurization system and used burst disks as seals. 


The Crew Drago, which is an advanced version of the robotic Dragon cargo is one of NASA's supported projects for space transportation. The other being Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule. These projects are commissioned by the space agency to be able to transport astronauts using U.S.-made spaceships contrary to the previously commissioned Russian spacecraft from Soyuz. 

READ: Soyuz Spacecrafts In Development to Transport Astronauts to the International Space Station

With regard to this, Boeing also accomplished its test for the launch abort system of its Starliner capsule in New Mexico. Although among Starliner's three parachutes, there is one that did not open successfully, NASA gave its approval to do an uncrewed test flight with the Starliner to fly to and from the International Space Station.

READ: Boeing Tests Starliner Capsule Launch Abort System