SpaceX was expected to perform an escape test for the Falcon9 rocket Saturday, but had to reschedule the event due to "poor splashdown and recovery weather.” Instead, the test has been rescheduled for Sunday (Monday in Australia), with the 6-hour test window opening up officially tonight. Here's how to watch.
The test is meant to demonstrate "Crew Dragon’s ability to safely escape the Falcon 9 rocket in the event of a failure during launch.” Here’s what that’s supposed to look like:
If everything goes according to plan, the Crew Dragon capsule will be separated from the rocket while it’s over the Atlantic ocean, and the pieces will be safely delivered to the water via parachute.
The test is to prove that astronauts could safely be ejected from the rocket should there be an issue during its launch. Ultimately, crews might travel in a similar vessel to the International Space Station.
The rocket will take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, and the launch escape will be triggered prior to 1 minute and 30 seconds into the flight. Falcon9 is expected to break up over the Atlantic Ocean, and the spacecraft is supposed to land under parachutes offshore.
NASA will be broadcasting the whole thing live. Its broadcast will begin at 7:40am ET on Sunday, which works out to Monday, 12am AEDT (20 January) in Australia. A post-test news conference is scheduled for 9:30am ET (1:30am AEDT). You can check it out here or in the embedded video below:
SpaceX is also offering a livestream: