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SpaceX test-fires launch vehicle's engines for upcoming mission

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April 30, 2012

Today, SpaceX performed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's nine Merlin en...

Today, SpaceX performed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's nine Merlin engines, in preparation for a planned launch next month

Private space exploration company SpaceX is currently looking towards May 7th as the rescheduled date for its Dragon space capsule to lift off from Earth, on an unmanned Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demo mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Today, the company performed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s nine Merlin engines. The test took place at SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and was part of a full dress rehearsal for the actual launch.

Problems of some type occurred less than a minute before the scheduled test-firing, which was scheduled for 3:00pm ET. The test was rescheduled to 4:15pm, at which time it went off successfully, with the engines firing for the planned two seconds.

In December 2010, the Dragon spacecraft was launched into Earth orbit, officially becoming history’s first private reusable spacecraft. Its upcoming second mission, this time going all the way to the space station and back, has been repeatedly delayed since last December.

Source: SpaceX

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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