But when has anything as complex as firing up rockets gone smoothly for extended periods of time?
A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft suffered an anomaly during an engine test in Florida Saturday (April 20), company officials said.
The event was noted by local publication Florida Today, which acquired multiple images showing a large body of smoke rising from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Saturday.
NASA and the SpaceX team are assessing the anomaly that occurred today during part of the Dragon Super Draco Static Fire Test at SpaceX Landing Zone 1 in Florida. An investigation was committed to making sure that its systems met "rigorous safety standards".
Neither SpaceX nor NASA gave immediate updates on the status of the capsule, which was scheduled for its first flight with a crew this year.More news: Monte Carlo Masters: Fabio Fognini beats Dusan Lajovic in final
More news: Fresh blast in Colombo: Van parked near St Anthony's Church explodes
More news: Daily Online Edition of The Sunday Times Sri Lanka
America's human space programme suffered a setback when a new capsule created to carry astronauts was destroyed in an explosion during a test of its crew safety system.
Though few details are available, SpaceX did release a statement to SpaceNews confirming the incident. The vehicle was recovered successfully after a short stay docked to the International Space Station and was set to be reused for an inflight abort test this summer. Crew Dragon's catastrophic explosion comes as a particularly extreme surprise given how extensively SpaceX has already tested the SuperDraco engines and plumbing, as well as the successful completion of the spacecraft's launch debut.
Boeing's schedule already reflects delays from a test stand failure previous year of the CST-100 Starliner capsule's abort engines.
The first piloted flight, with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on board, is now targeted for late July.
It's not clear at the moment how this weekend's still unknown problem will affect those plans.
SpaceX seemed to be on the right path towards victory over Boeing in the race to be the first to launch astronauts to orbit from U.S. soil. The Starliner will return to a touchdown in the western United States while the Crew Dragon splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean east of Cape Canaveral.