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SpaceX abort test serves as practice run for astronauts, rescue teams

16 Jan 2020, 23:00 UTC
SpaceX abort test serves as practice run for astronauts, rescue teams
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated at 11 p.m. EST Jan. 16 (0400 GMT Jan. 17) after Falcon 9 was raised vertical.
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley participates in a 2019 training event to rehearse pre-launch crew operations for a Crew Dragon mission. Credit: SpaceX
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule were raised vertical at launch pad 39A in Florida late Thursday, setting the stage for a launch day dress rehearsal Friday with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — the veteran space fliers assigned to the Crew Dragon’s first piloted mission later this year — before a critical in-flight test of the ship’s emergency escape system Saturday.
NASA and SpaceX officials convened a launch readiness review Thursday and gave approval for SpaceX to proceed with final preparations for the Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort Test Saturday.
The test flight is set for liftoff from pad 39A during a four-hour window Saturday opening at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT). There is a 90 percent chance of favorable weather for the test flight Saturday, according to the official launch weather forecast.
The launch escape demonstration will verify the SuperDraco abort engines on the Crew Dragon capsule can safely push the spacecraft away ...

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