SpaceX is now ready for the worst.
In order to be considered mission-ready by NASA to launch Americans into space, every private company working on transport systems needs to prove that they can save astronauts' lives on the launch pad in case of catastrophe. To that end, SpaceX just proved it could, with flying colors. The abort system for the Dragon capsule (which is scheduled to be crewed by actual humans in 2017) passed its first major test today, after being launched in Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base this morning. After a short flight, the abort system was activated and after a few tumbles, parachutes opened and the capsule floated down into the ocean.
SpaceX, which was founded by Elon Musk (who we previously told you how to get a job with), tweeted these stats from the launch:
You can watch the full video of the launch here:
Next up for SpaceX is trying the abort system in-flight, well after the capsule has already left the landing pad.