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 11:38:34 AM
I don't think that $1.6B is a one year contract.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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