U.S. company SpaceX successfully tested the emergency escape system on its new passenger spacecraft Sunday, paving the way for flying astronauts into orbit.
According to SpaceX’s official website, the company launched the Crew Dragon capsule from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Falcon 9 rocket on which the capsule was launched atop was intentionally destroyed for testing the emergency escape system, which would allow astronauts to safely leave the shuttle in an emergency at the time of departure.
Following the successful test, the Crew Dragon capsule fell in the planned area in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX has successfully completed many important tests in the past year to start flying astronauts, and the latest test was considered the final major hurdle.
The company has not yet announced when flights with astronauts will start, but they are expected to begin sometime in the first half of the year.