SpaceX suffered a setback in its manned program when one of its Crew Dragon capsules experienced “an anomaly” on a test stand at Cape Canaveral on Saturday. The nature of the incident was not immediately released but a cloud of orange smoke was reported rising over the SpaceX facilities at the Cape. There were no injuries. The incident occurred during tests of the capsule abort thrusters. “The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in ananomaly on the test stand,” the company said in a statement.
SpaceX launched an unmanned Crew Dragon to the International Space Station earlier this year and the current schedule calls for astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to ride the capsule in a test flight in July, although it’s been reported the manned test will likely be pushed to the fall. It’s not clear whether Saturday’s incident will affect the manned test schedule. “NASA has been notified about the results of the SpaceX Static Fire Test andthe anomaly that occurred during the final test,” its administrator JimBridenstine said in a tweet. “This is why we test. We will learn, make the necessary adjustments andsafely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program.”