SpaceX Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Rocket Engines
October 1, 2012 2:42 PM
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Dragon's first official cargo delivery to the ISS is set for October 7
In preparation for its
first official cargo delivery
to the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX successfully tested its Falcon 9 rocket engines.
SpaceX conducted a static-fire test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida last week. The test involved holding down the Falcon 9 rocket while nine Merlin engines were set off for a couple of seconds on the pad. Data was recorded during the test, which will be analzyed before the Falcon 9 takes off for space.
NASA retired its space shuttle fleet
last year, American astronauts were forced to depend on Russian Soyuz rockets to get to the ISS. This turned into a pricey method of space travel, which led to a search for the next American spacecraft for ISS cargo deliveries.
SpaceX stepped up with its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket as an alternative to NASA's space shuttle fleet. This was a huge step for American spaceflight, since it marked the first time a private company would send a spacecraft to the ISS.
sent its Dragon capsule to the ISS
on the back of a Falcon 9 rocket back in May of this year for testing. After a successful cargo delivery, SpaceX agreed to a $1.6 billion NASA contract where it would make 12 runs to the ISS.
SpaceX's first official cargo run to the ISS is set for October 7 at 8:34 p.m. ET.
Check out a video of the engine test here:
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RE: 1/10 of NASA Budget to SpaceX?
10/2/2012 8:24:11 AM
You get what you pay for. NASA is no exception.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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