The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Demo-2 mission made it to Florida’s Space Coast on Feb. 13, 2src2src.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Demo-2 mission made it to Florida’s Space Coast on Feb. 13, 2020.

(Image: © SpaceX)

SpaceX just experienced a hiccup in the lead-up to its first crewed flight.  

The California-based company hauled a test article of its Crew Dragon capsule skyward with a helicopter on Tuesday (March 24), to help prove out the vehicle’s parachute system ahead of the historic Demo-2 mission. 

Demo-2, which is currently scheduled to launch in mid- to late May, will carry NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS). It will be the first crewed orbital flight to launch from U.S. soil since NASA’s space shuttle fleet retired in July 2011.

But the parachutes never got a chance to show their stuff.

“During a planned parachute drop test today, the test article suspended underneath the helicopter became unstable,” SpaceX said Tuesday in an emailed statement. 

“Out of an abundance of caution and to keep the helicopter crew safe, the pilot pulled the emergency release,” the statement added. “As the helicopter was not yet at target conditions, the test article was not armed, and as such, the parachute system did not initiate the parachute deployment sequence. While the test article was lost, this was not a failure of the parachute system, and most importantly, no one was injured. NASA and SpaceX are working together to determine the testing plan going forward in advance of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration mission.”

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