SpaceX aerospace company tested an unmanned capsule abortion system on Sunday and achieved a successful emergency landing, a big step in its goal of transporting NASA astronauts, which it could achieve for the first time this spring.
It was previously ejected from a rocket that cut its engines 19 km above the ocean to mimic a launch failure.
“It’s a perfect mission. It went as well as you would expect,” Musk said.
The first mission with humans on board, the final test before NASA’s commercial crew program begins operation, is scheduled for the second quarter of this year, after the spacecraft is completed no later than March said Musk.
In what was a key test before carrying humans, SpaceX also tested the response of its rescue teams after a dip.
Company workers, along with emergency teams from US Air Force Detachment 3, ran to reach the Crew Dragon, a vital part of the test to practice a rescue mission to retrieve the astronauts from the capsule.
Crew Dragon, an acorn-shaped capsule that can transport seven astronauts, fired thrusters on board to get rid of the rocket less than two minutes after takeoff, simulating an emergency abortion scenario to show that it can return astronauts to a place insurance.