SpaceX Crew Dragon suffers ‘anomaly’ during engine test, smoke seen for miles (PHOTOS)

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NASA and SpaceX have confirmed that there was some kind of ‘anomaly’ during a series of engine tests of the Crew Dragon capsule, after witnesses reported and shared pictures of a plume of orange smoke visible from miles away.

“Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida,” a company spokesperson said. “The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand.”

The company did not elaborate on the damage inflicted to the spacecraft or the testing site, but NASA was immediately notified of the incident. “The NASA and SpaceX teams are assessing the anomaly that occurred today,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed.

The incident was first reported by Florida Today, which claimed initial reports had suggested the spacecraft was “nearly destroyed,” though it was not clear which one as the company has several capsules undergoing tests, in an ambitious quest to revive America’s piloted space flights.

The Crew Dragon made its maiden test voyage to the International Space Station back in March, and was undergoing final tests for a crewed mission this July. It is yet unknown if the ‘anomaly’ would affect this plan.

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