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SpaceX Dragon fires up launch abort thrusters

SpaceX static-fire test
Thrusters blaze during a static-fire test of the launch abort system on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. (SpaceX via Twitter)

SpaceX went the distance today with a static-fire test of its Crew Dragon space taxi’s launch escape system — the same type of test that ended in a costly explosion when it was conducted in April.

A photo released after the firing shows the Crew Dragon’s SuperDraco thrusters blazing away on the test stand at SpaceX’s Florida facility. The full-duration firing brings the company one step closer to flying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station next year.

“SpaceX and NASA teams are now reviewing test data and working toward an in-flight demonstration of Crew Dragon’s launch escape system,” SpaceX tweeted.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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