NASA Keeps Its Commercial-Crew Options Open
By Frank Morring, Jr., Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
SpaceX is also in the midst of testing the liquid fueled Super Draco rockets that will power its launch abort system. Adam Harris of SpaceX Government Sales says the escape system, which will also be used for other purposes in the flight if not needed for launch abort, will be attached to the side of the Dragon capsule.
Consisting of eight rockets with a combined thrust of around 15,000 lb., the launch abort system “can be used for escape all the way to orbit. It also gives us the benefit of using propulsion on way down if the escape system was not needed. Using it we can stabilize the descent on the way down and we hope to get to the point where we can use it to land on land,” he says.