PUBLISHED: 17:01, Sun, Jan 19, 2020 | UPDATED: 17:04, Sun, Jan 19, 2020
SpaceX’s ‘abort test’ appeared to be a success as the 500-tonne rocket successfully exploded over the Atlantic Ocean. The Falcon 9 rocket test was intended to demonstrate the space firms ability to carry astronauts to safety in the event of a catastrophic failure during its ascent into the higher atmosphere. Shortly before the explosion, a Crew Dragon capsule safely detached from the rocket and plummeted to the ground.
Elon Musk described it as a “risky mission… pushing the envelope in so many ways.”
No crew was on board for the test however test dummies were used.
The rocket lifted off at Kennedy Space Centre in Flordia with spectators eagerly scanning the skies for the explosion.
Those on the ground complained as the rocket disappeared into the clouds a minute after launch but those watching NASA’s webcast were able to clearly see the fireball engulf the rocket after the Dragon capsule had been jettisoned.
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NASA launch: Shocking footage shows SpaceX Dragon rocket explode mid-air (Image: nasa)
This test has helped pave the way for the private space company to launch astronauts to the International Space Station using a SpaceX spacecraft. (Image: Getty )