2010-03-17

SpaceX Takes One Step Closer

Private rocketeer company SpaceX took a step closer to becoming a viable space transportation provider last Saturday, with the successful completion of a test engine firing of its Falcon 9 rocket platform. The test was dogged by delays from glitches and weather, but with it now under their belt the next step is a test launch for flight qualification, which could occur as early as April 12th. Sitting on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral's U.S. Airforce facility, the Falcon 9 rocket has been tentatively scheduled for the first available opportunity between March and May.

The Falcon 9 rocket engine test

Nine Merlin engines power the first stage of the Falcon 9, each one delivering 125,000 pounds of thrust, which will send its Dragon payload spacecraft into orbit with a capacity for 20 tons of cargo. The Dragon module is capable of reaching the ISS, and once the cargo phase is thoroughly tested it will be qualified for human spaceflight.

For more information check out the SpaceX website: http://www.spacex.com

SpaceHead
Image credit: Chris Thompson/SpaceX
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1 comments:

Herdoni Wahyono said...

Space Exploration Technologies opened a new milestone toward first flight of the shuttle personally developed for use as cargo transport and possibly astronauts into orbit.