In a video posted by SpaceX this week, the company test fired a pair of rocket engines that could save astronauts’ lives while launching to the International Space Station.
As part of NASA’s commercial crew program, SpaceX must pass a number of tests before its Dragon Version 2 crew capsule, Falcon 9 rocket and other mission infrastructure can be safely certified for use. Included in those requirements is an abort system that could save astronauts lives in the event of an emergency during launch.
That system includes four SuperDraco pods, each equipped with a pair of rocket engines designed to separate the Dragon V2 capsule from the launch vehicle and away from danger. SpaceX recently tested those engines at the company’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, according to NASA.
SpaceX will test the full system during a future test flight in Cape Canaveral, Florida.