SpaceX will destroy one of its rockets in the pursuit of safety this weekend

A rendering of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on top of the Falcon 9 rocket | Image: SpaceX

Early Saturday morning, SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida that will most likely break apart in midair just a few minutes after takeoff. The rocket’s demise is part of a planned test flight that’s supposed to demonstrate SpaceX’s ability to handle a catastrophic failure of one of its vehicles. If the test goes well, SpaceX will be closer than ever to putting people on its Falcon 9 rocket for the first time this year.

Known as the in-flight abort test, this is one of the last major milestones that SpaceX must meet as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program. It’s a government initiative aimed at developing new American-made spacecraft to launch NASA astronauts from the US once again. For the last six years, SpaceX has…

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