SpaceX completed a static fire test of its Falcon 9 rocket in advance of a planned cargo launch to the International Space Station on sunday afternoon. All nine of its Merlin-1D engines fired while the rocket was clamped down during the short test. The upcoming launch will be the company’s first from the historic Launch Complex-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The launch pad has a storied history, with all of the crewed Apollo missions except for Apollo 10 lifting off from the pad, as well as the first 24 space shuttle missions.SpaceX acquired rights to use the site in 2014 from NASA, signing a 20-year lease with the space agency. SpaceX acquired rights to use the site in 2014 from NASA, signing a 20-year lease with the space agency.
With the static fire test complete, SpaceX can now move forward with the launch of its twelfth Dragon spacecraft, and the tenth operational cargo delivery mission to the station. The Dragon will carry about two tons of pressurized cargo and one ton of unpressurized cargo to the station.
Launch is scheduled for no earlier than 10:01am ET next Saturday.