On Sunday, January 19, 2020, SpaceX intentionally blew up one of its rockets in an in-flight abort test of the Crew Dragon spacecraft at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket lifted off from Pad 39A which is the same pad that was built for the Apollo program.
This was a successful test of the abort system of its crew Dragon and both NASA and SpaceX agreed that the test appeared to go as planned. “Overall, as far as we can tell thus far, it is a picture-perfect mission. It went as well as one could possibly expect,” said Elon Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, at a post-test briefing.
The Crew Dragon trunk from the in-flight abort test was found to be in “surprisingly good shape” which Elon Musk happily shared with all of us on Twitter.
The reason why SpaceX blew up one of it’s Falcon 9 rockets was to create a simulation of what would happen if there was an engine failure during a flight. The Crew Dragon, which was attached to the rocket, detached safely and just after it let go, the rocket blew up in a beautiful fiery explosion. A sacrifice of a falcon, if you will, to the dragon gods.