A spacecraft made famous last month for autonomously docking with the International Space Station appears to have been destroyed in what SpaceX is describing as an “anomaly” during testing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Saturday. A viral video purported to be that of the anomaly but not confirmed as such by SpaceX shows the Crew Dragon capsule exploding on a test stand after engine testing. SpaceX has been tight-lipped over what happened and has not offered any confirmation or denial of the authenticity of that video.
On Saturday, SpaceX released a brief statement: “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. The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand.” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Tweeted, “NASA has been notified about the results of the SpaceX Static Fire Test and the anomaly that occurred during the final test. We will work closely to ensure we safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program.” NASA added, “The NASA and SpaceX teams are assessing the anomaly that occurred today during a part of the Dragon Super Draco Static Fire Test at SpaceX Landing Zone 1 in Florida. This is why we test. We will learn, make the necessary adjustments and safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program.”
Tourists spotted something wrong on Saturday as a large plume of orange and dark smoke rose from the space complex; people visiting Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center and area beaches shared photographs of the smoke plume onto social media. A short time after, SpaceX and NASA made their statements but have not added anything since nor shared any official imagery.