In this Sunday, March 3, 2019 file photo provided by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured about 20 meters (66 feet) away from the International Space Station's Harmony module. Officials say SpaceX's new capsule for astronauts suffered an "anomaly" during a routine engine test firing in Florida, causing smoke to be seen for miles. Forty-fifth Space Wing Spokesman Jim Williams tells Florida Today that the anomaly happened Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station while the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule was undergoing a "static test fire." (NASA via AP, File)

SpaceX suffers serious setback with crew capsule accident

April 22, 2019 - 11:00 am

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has suffered a serious setback in its effort to launch NASA astronauts into orbit this year.

Over the weekend, the Dragon crew capsule that flew to the International Space Station last month was engulfed in smoke and flames on an engine test stand. SpaceX says it was testing the Dragon's abort thrusters at Cape Canaveral, Florida, when Saturday's accident occurred. The company says the test area was clear and no one was injured.

This Dragon was supposed to be used in a launch abort test in June, with another capsule making the first flight with a crew as early as July.

NASA said Monday it's too early to revise the target launch dates.

Earlier this month, NASA announced major delays for test flights of Boeing's Starliner crew capsule.

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