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SpaceX tests escape system for astronauts

SpaceX conducted the first major test of its brand new, super-streamlined launch escape system for astronauts today.

No humans were on board the mock-up capsule for Wednesday’s 90-second flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, just a dummy. The Dragon capsule was fired from a test stand — not a rocket — at 9 a.m. soared close to 1.6 kilomtres (a mile) high before parachuting into the Atlantic about 1.6 kilometres (a mile) offshore. Eight rocket engines on the capsule provided the thrust.

The California-based company led by billionaire Elon Musk aims to launch U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station as early as 2017. Boeing is designing its own crew capsule. NASA wants to make sure the commercial crew flights will be safe, and is insisting on reliable escape systems.

CBC | Technology News

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