SpaceX, the American rocket and space shuttle manufacturer, has overcome another significant obstacle by successfully testing an "emergency escape system"before embarking on astronaut space flights.
Space.com SpaceX launched its Dragon cargo shuttle from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Base at 10.30 pm local time on Sunday, according to reports.
The Falcon 9 rocket, launched by the Dragon cargo shuttle, was deliberately detonated to test emergency escape systems that would allow astronauts to safely leave the shuttle in case of an emergency at the time of takeoff. At the end of the successful test, the Dragon shuttle crashed into a previously designated area in the Atlantic Ocean.
At SpaceX, which has successfully concluded several key tests to begin astronaut flights for nearly the past year, the "emergency escape" was seen as the last major test.
The company also carries resupply supplies to the International Space Station (UUI) via the Dragon cargo shuttle, under its "Commercial Resupply Services" Program.
While SpaceX has yet to announce when astronaut flights will begin, those flights are expected to begin in the first half of the year.