SpaceX conducted the first flight test of its Crew Dragon on Wednesday (May 6), demonstrating how the spacecraft and its future astronaut crews could fly away from a launch failure. The two-minute pad abort test used the Dragon's eight SuperDraco engines to push it just under a mile high and 1.4 miles downrange to a parachute-assisted splashdown. The same Dragon will be used for an in-flight abort test atop a Falcon 9 rocket later this year.
With a flash of flame and a puff of smoke, SpaceX's first '21st century spacecraft' took to the skies in a big test that left the rocket behind. SpaceX's first Crew Dragon leapt off its launch pad, but not because of a booster propelling it from below.
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