One of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon crew capsules suffered an “anomaly” on the launch pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station while testing its engines on the last weekend.
Some nearby workers said they heard an explosion. No injuries have been reported. Orange plumes rising from SpaceX facilities at the Cape around 3:30 p.m. were seen. Unconfirmed reports indicated the capsule was destroyed. A very few details were provided by the company. “Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand,” they said in a statement.
The accident happened while SpaceX was running an “abort engine test.” Eight larger SuperDraco thrusters that are used for aborts in the event of an emergency. SpaceX has confirmed the craft which suffered the anomaly was the one that automatically docked with the International Space Station earlier this year. It’s not clear whether the incident will affect the timeline for SpaceX to ready the craft.