SpaceX completes rocket static ignition test, manned launch on weekend

On Wednesday, local time, the US space exploration technology company SpaceX conducted a static firing test on a Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39A. This routine pre-flight test kicked off the countdown to SpaceX’s first commercial manned flight. The rocket will be sent to the International Space Station on a four-astronaut Crew Dragon spacecraft this weekend .

The static ignition test was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday evening local time in the United States, but was postponed by SpaceX for 24 hours to allow it to test and replace the rocket’s second stage exhaust valve. During the pre-flight test on Wednesday afternoon, the Falcon 9 rocket engine burst into smoke and started roaring. The static ignition test is the standard procedure before launch and one of the last few most important tests.

During the test, the Falcon 9 rocket was fixed on the launch pad, and the engines on the first stage of the nine rockets were briefly activated. This allows staff to ensure that all systems are working properly and the rocket is ready for flight. Soon after the test ended, SpaceX said on Twitter that the static ignition test was a success, and it plans to launch at 7:49 pm Eastern Time on November 14th.

This flight marked SpaceX’s 21st mission this year and the first time a rocket has been launched from Florida. The first stage of the rocket is expected to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base approximately 9 minutes after liftoff. If everything goes according to plan, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station in 8.5 hours, which is early Sunday (November 15).

The Crew Dragon spacecraft and rocket used in SpaceX’s first commercial manned mission (Crew-1) are brand new. Following the success of the Demo-2 demonstration mission, NASA sent two NASA astronauts to the space station for two months in May. NASA has approved SpaceX to reuse the Crew Dragon spacecraft and rockets in future missions. In fact, the Crew-2 mission, which will be launched next year, will reuse the Demo-2 manned dragon spacecraft and the Crew-1 booster.

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