Saturday morning, SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida that will break apart in midair just a few minutes after takeoff.
This is part of a planned test flight that’s supposed to demonstrate SpaceX’s ability to handle a catastrophic failure of one of its vehicles. It will be an important step before putting people on its Falcon 9 rocket for the first time this year. For the last six years, SpaceX has been developing a new capsule called the Crew Dragon designed to fly on top of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. To save passengers during an emergency, SpaceX designed its Crew Dragon with an escape system. The Falcon 9 which will be used to be destroyed during test Saturday has already been to space and back three times before, making this fourth trip its last.
The test could provide a spectacular show on the ground for those in Cape Canaveral. NASA and SpaceX will be watching this test closely. The schedule for the crewed flight hasn’t been announced. Boeing is too a part of the Commercial Crew program and has been developing its own crew capsule called the CST-100 Starliner.