But when has anything as complex as firing up rockets gone smoothly for extended periods of time?
The NASA and SpaceX teams are assessing the anomaly that occurred today during a part of the Dragon Super Draco Static Fire Test at SpaceX Landing Zone 1 in Florida.
A photo on the Florida Today website showed large amounts of smoke pouring out of the test site, and there was speculation about a possible explosion, but neither SpaceX nor Nasa would provide any immediate detail. "Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting anomalies like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test". SpaceX stated that its groups are exploring and are working intimately with U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) accomplices.
SpaceX planned to fly that spacecraft again in an in-flight abort test, where the spacecraft ignites its SuperDraco thrusters around the time of peak aerodynamic pressure after launch, pulling it away from its Falcon 9 booster.
Although it can't yet be confirmed, it appears the rocket engine that would have propelled Crew Dragon to safety in an abort emergency had exploded prematurely.
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NASA announced early this month that it would be reevaluating its target test dates for SpaceX "in the next couple weeks", but no new schedule has been released.
In the meantime, Boeing is scheduled to fly its passenger spacecraft, the CST-100 Starliner, uncrewed in August.
SpaceX successfully launched a Crew Dragon capsule on an unpiloted test flight March 2. But even before Saturday's anomaly, agency insiders were saying it likely was headed for the September-October timeframe.
It's not clear at the moment how this weekend's still unknown problem will affect those plans.
SpaceX has suffered a serious setback in its effort to launch NASA astronauts into orbit this year. The six-day mission ended with a successful splashdown of Crew Dragon in the Atlantic Ocean and its retrieval by a SpaceX recovery ship.