According to an internal memo seen by the Orlando Sentinel, the ban refers to workers employed by aerospace company Jacobs under the Test and Operations Support Contract (TOSC).
A senior SpaceX official confirmed Thursday that an "anomaly" during an April 20 ground test destroyed a Crew Dragon spacecraft meant to clear the way for the launch of two astronauts this summer.
Late in April, news and a video of a SpaceX Dragon capsule exploding found its way to the public on Twitter. Instead, the first-stage booster was aiming for a barge stationed about 12 miles offshore, much closer than usual. While Crew Dragon - which is, as the name suggests, created to transport up to four human passengers rather than just cargo - is based on the same core design, it has the SuperDraco thrusters while the cargo variant does not.
"It's too early to confirm any cause or probable root", Koenigsmann said. "Capture by the Space Station crew set for early Monday morning", it said.
SpaceX has delayed a supply run to the International Space Station, back to full power after quick repairs. Once unpacked, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 instrument will be attached to the space station's exterior via a robotic arm, where it will measure atmospheric carbon dioxide and map sources and sinks of the gas. And so we will take the lessons learned from this and I'm convinced this will help us to ensure that Crew Dragon is one of the safest human spaceflight vehicles ever built.
"Teams will also address the ground side helium leak before tomorrow's backup launch opportunity". "It's certainly not great news for the schedule overall, but I hope we can recover". SpaceX had been aiming for a summertime flight.
"At the test stand, we powered up Dragon, it powered up as expected, we completed tests with the Draco (maneuvering) thrusters, the smaller thrusters that are also on the cargo Dragon", Koenigsmann said.
"I don't want to completely preclude the current schedule", he said.
NASA and SpaceX later admitted that the test resulted in "an anomaly", but didn't provide any details of the incident and stopped short of explaining the clouds of smoke billowing over the Kennedy Space Center that day, which were observed by many witnesses.
The company still needs to conduct a launch-abort test, before astronauts strap in.