A fiery new SpaceX video brings all the "foom" that's been missing from your life.
In just 30 seconds, the space company showed off a selection of 700 tests of the SuperDraco engines designed for the abort system of its commercial crew vehicle, Crew Dragon. The first crewed mission will send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station in the near future.
Clips in the video (opens in new tab) show Crew Dragon in many separate uncrewed tests: rocketing off the launch pad, spewing rocket flames while tied down near the launch tower, hovering in mid-air — and working tirelessly both day and night. Close-up shots display the spacecraft's eight SuperDraco engines throttling up, flames jetting from their nozzles.
"Ahead of our in-flight abort test for @Commercial_Crew — which will demonstrate Crew Dragon's ability to safely carry astronauts away from the rocket in the unlikely event of an emergency — our team has completed over 700 tests of the spacecraft's SuperDraco engines," SpaceX officials said in a tweet accompanying the video.
"Fired together at full throttle, Crew Dragon's eight SuperDracos can move the spacecraft 0.5 miles [0.8 kilometers] — the length of over seven American football fields lined up end to end — in 7.5 seconds, reaching a peak velocity of 436 mph [702 km/hr]," SpaceX added.
The company is testing all aspects of the spaceflight system, including the Falcon 9 rocket that will heft Crew Dragon into space. On Aug. 29, the company did a static-fire test of Falcon 9 in McGregor, Texas.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon — along with Boeing's CST-100 Starliner — are both expected to bring astronauts to the ISS, under agreements signed with NASA in 2014. Russian Soyuz spacecraft have been the only capsules sending crews back and forth since July 2011, after NASA retired its space shuttle program.
The first Crew Dragon mission — without astronauts on board — visited the ISS successfully in March during a six-day mission called Demo-1. While observers predicted a crewed mission would happen quickly, the same Crew Dragon exploded in April during an abort test of its SuperDraco engines. SpaceX hasn't yet disclosed when Demo-2, carrying Hurley and Behnken, will take place.
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