Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
Private US space transport company SpaceX is to test an eject button for astronauts on Wednesday in the first flight test of the abort system on the Dragon spaceship. The entire flight test will be over in less than two minutes, with the spacecraft hitting a height of 5,000 feet (1,500 meters), then jettisoning its trunk before falling into the Atlantic Ocean about 1.4 miles away from the launch pad. The Dragon will not blast off atop a Falcon 9 rocket for the test but will instead get lift with the help of "eight SuperDraco rocket engines built into the walls of the Crew Dragon spacecraft," the company said. "This system is designed to quickly get the crew and spacecraft away from the rocket in the event of a potential failure," it said.