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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:58
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 22:32
SpaceX fires Falcon's rocket engines
SpaceX conducted a successful test firing of a Falcon 9 rocket's engines on its Cape Canaveral launch pad, one week before its precedent-setting launch to the International Space Station. But it took more than one try.
The initial countdown was halted just 47 seconds before the nine engines were scheduled to start up. SpaceX fixed what it called a "limit that was improperly set" on the flight computer and quickly set up another countdown. The second countdown proceeded smoothly, and the rocket's nine engines fizzed to life for two seconds as expected, at 4:15 p.m. ET today.
"Woohoo, rocket hold-down firing completed and all looks good!!" SpaceX's millionaire founder, Elon Musk, reported in a Twitter update. Meanwhile, company spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said "engineers will now review data as we continue preparations for the upcoming launch."
This was a full dress rehearsal for SpaceX's second official demonstration flight for NASA. The first demo flight, back in December 2010, sent a gumdrop-shaped Dragon space capsule into orbit for the first time. The second flight, scheduled to lift off as early as May 7, could see the Dragon go all the way to the space station.
Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:24
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