JAN 21, 2020 3:21 PM PST

Here's Why SpaceX Blew Up a Falcon 9 Rocket in Mid-Air

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

SpaceX completed a substantial milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program this week, an undertaking that involved one of the commercial space company’s Falcon 9 rockets exploding in mid-air. But rest assured, that explosion was no accident; instead, SpaceX blew up its own rocket on purpose as a part of its planned Crew Dragon abort demonstration.

This week’s demonstration was to simulate a scenario in which a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket hypothetically stalled in mid-air, something that could and would be catastrophic for any astronauts sitting on an attached spacecraft like the Crew Dragon.

No one was harmed in the demonstration because the Crew Dragon spacecraft was completely crewless, but had there have been astronauts on the spacecraft, they would have made a safe landing because of the Crew Dragon’s autonomous emergency abort system. It jettisoned the spacecraft far away from the Falcon 9 rocket in mere seconds with a set of Super Draco thrusters, enabling it to get out of harm’s way. Shortly after the maneuver, it made a soft landing in the ocean with a set of parachutes.

Destroying the Falcon 9 rocket was a necessary sacrifice on SpaceX’s part to prove to NASA that its platform would keep all potential life forms onboard safe from any possible disasters, and it passed that test with flying colors. With that in mind, while the destruction of the Falcon 9 rocket was a costly choice for SpaceX, it also ensures that the company will get to ferry NASA’s astronauts to space in the near future.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 09, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 09, 2019
2019 Nobel Prize in Physics: Exoplanets and the Evolution of Our Universe
This Tuesday, October 8th, the Nobel Prize committee announced the winners of this year's Physics Nobel. Canadian cosmologist James Peebles, alongside...
OCT 22, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 22, 2019
Here's What We Know So Far About Titan's Liquid Methane Oceans
Titan is perhaps one of the most captivating moons orbiting Saturn today; so much so that astronomers spent a lot of time studying it when the Cassini miss...
NOV 03, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 03, 2019
NASA Wants Visit Pluto and Beyond... Again
Most probably remember the historic moments in the Summer of 2015 when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the dwarf planet Pluto to capture the...
DEC 18, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 18, 2019
Physics in Peril? (Part II) - Lost in the "Darkness"
Not many share the same antagonistic view with Sabine Hossenfelder, the physicist who associates the current awkward state of physical science with theoret...
JAN 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 05, 2020
It's Finally the Year of the Mars 2020 Mission
It’s officially 2020, and with that in mind, anyone paying attention to NASA’s launch schedule should know already that the Mars 2020 rover is...
JAN 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 12, 2020
TESS Finds its First Earth-Sized World in a Star's Habitable Region
Astronomers are continuously searching for exoplanets in the deepest reaches of our galaxy, and while the Kepler Space Telescope might be a thing of the pa...
Loading Comments...