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SpaceX successfully ejects crew capsule

  • In a test lasting just under 100 seconds, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. appears to have demonstrated that its crew capsule – one of two NASA is banking on to carry American astronauts to and from the International Space Station – can vault clear of danger on a launch pad.
  • NASA’s goal is to have two companies, SpaceX and The Boeing Company, ready to ferry astronauts in 2017. The move would end the United States’ dependence on Russia for astronaut transportation, reliance that came with the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.
  • The next step, coming later this year, is a test of the capsule’s ability to kick free of a rocket during the most stressful part of its ascent.

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